Police to wear body cameras to help with evidence-gathering

USEFUL: Cleveland Police officers could soon be wearing body cameras.
USEFUL: Cleveland Police officers could soon be wearing body cameras.
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A POLICE force is implementing new generation body-worn video cameras to officers across the force.

The cameras are expected to capture evidence of crimes as they happen and reduce confrontations whilst enhancing accountability, increasing public confidence, and reducing complaints.

Our officers face threats of danger on the streets every single day and body-worn video will go some way to protect them from harm.

Simon Nickless, Acting Deputy Chief Constable, Cleveland Police

Body-worn video, which has been funded by the Ministry of Justice Competed Fund through the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, will primarily be used to capture evidence at scenes of domestic abuse.

However, it will also be available to the support the investigation of other crimes.

The Reveal Media RS3SX cameras are already being used by 30 of the 42 forces up and down the country.

They record audio and video which gives officers an immediate and exact record of anything they are dealing with as well as the effects that an incident can have on a victim and others present at the time.

Cleveland Police Acting Deputy Chief Constable Simon Nickless said: “Body-worn video has been used for some time in several other forces across the country, and it has been shown to be very useful operationally.

“For example, it has been seen to moderate the behaviour of some people who are acting aggressively, both in domestic abuse and public order situations.

“It will provide strong additional evidence for use in court, and it is hoped that it will help increase public confidence.

“In addition, our officers face threats of danger on the streets every single day and body-worn video will go some way to protect them from harm.”

He added: “As police officers we aim to protect members of the public and their property, and prevent, detect and investigate crime and prevent public disorder.

“I am confident that body-worn video will assist us further in doing so.”

Body-worn video will be highly visible on an officers’ uniform and recordings will only be activated when an officer considers that this is necessary in the circumstances.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Barry Coppinger said: “As part of a joint effort in tackling violence against men and women, with PCC for Durham Ron Hogg and PCC for Northumbria Vera Baird, we applied for the funds to implement body-worn video in Cleveland.

“The cameras will assist the police in dealing with potentially dangerous incidents and it could help bring more criminals to justice.”

Footage can be used as evidence to assist with the grounds of an arrest and can be shared with the Crown Prosecution Service, defence professionals and the courts to support a prosecution.

Non-evidential recordings of incidents are automatically deleted after 31 days.