POLICE in Warwickshire are to be equipped with body-worn cameras.
Firearms and taser-trained officers will be among the first to receive the equipment, followed by patrol officers, with all frontline operational officers in the force being issued with cameras by the end of 2017 at a cost of just over £300,000.
The cameras will be attached to police officers’ uniforms to capture video and audio evidence, which can then be used to support criminal prosecutions.
They do not continuously record, as under the Data Protection Act 1998 police officers have a duty to inform a person their actions are being recorded. The devices themselves are also designed to make it very clear to the public when they are capturing video and audio.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “Body worn cameras will help officers to achieve better outcomes and capture important evidence to bring cases to court.
“Speaking to officers, I know this is something that they welcome. Body worn video can also help to enhance their safety when they deal with challenging situations, as people often modify their behaviour and become less aggressive when they know they are being recorded on camera and that evidence can be used in court.
“Having a clear and irrefutable picture of what has happened in any incident is valuable, not only from an evidential perspective, but also because it provides the public with a record of how the police have acted.
“This greater openness and transparency will be very beneficial, for example when dealing with complaints against officers, where I believe it will help to reduce the numbers of illegitimate allegations being made, while at the same time allowing the thorough investigation of legitimate complaints to be carried out in a much more efficient and timely way.”