Search

Camden police begin ‘one of world’s biggest’ body-worn video camera trials

16:00 08 May 2014

Camden Borough Commander C.S. B.J. Harrington with one of the new police video cameras. Picture: Polly Hancock

Camden Borough Commander C.S. B.J. Harrington with one of the new police video cameras. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Camden residents can expect to be filmed any time they have a “notable interaction” with the police from today (Thursday) as the borough’s officers take part in one of the world’s biggest trials of body-worn cameras.

Police in Camden will join officers from nine other boroughs across London in being equipped with high-definition video cameras in a move they hope will “increase transparency”, “give speedier justice” and “reduce complaints made against them”.

About 500 body-mounted cameras - up to 80 in Camden - will be rolled out as part of a one year trial, costing £315,000.

Officers are being instructed to start recording “any time they would normally make a pocket notebook entry”, with all footage uploaded to a cloud storage database at the end of each day.

Camden borough commander Ch Supt BJ Harrington said his officers “were eager to get their hands on them”.

“It gives our officers better evidence and should help increase convictions,” he said.

“We understand there’s a balance to be struck here with human rights and privacy, which is why they’re not recording all the time.

“But where we are using executive powers, where we’re dealing with any public confrontation or use of force, or a stop and search, then the cameras will be turned on.”

Members of the public have been assured they will be notified if they are being filmed by officers.

They can also request that the officer turn on the camera.

But some campaigners have complained the power offivers have to turn the cameras on and off won’t provide the transparancy promised.

“We looked at the American model which has officers using the device at every single public interaction,” said Constable Bollingbroke, the Met’s lead for body-warn cameras.

“That policy severely reduced the amount of contact between the community and the police.

“But if officers don’t turn them on during a note-worthy incident, there will be a record of that.

“It’s also worth pointing out this is a completely random trial - we haven’t cherry-picked the officers involved.”

Unless of evidence value, all footage will be stored for a maximum of 31 days.

Some 230 body-worn cameras have already been in use across the Met in locally funded schemes, but this represents the largest study ever conducted for the force.

Based on other trials elsewhere in the UK, police say they expect to see a reduction in complaints, an increase in early guilty pleas and an increase in victimless prosecutions - especially in domestic violence, a major issue facing Camden.

Chris Fagg, chair of Gospel Oak Safer Neighbourhoods Citizen Panel, said: “I’m assured that the restraints of use are clear and the safeguards are there.

“I think it will be a great help to reducing anti-social behaviour which is a major concern for many of our residents.

“We’ve already had some of our officers use similar cameras as part of a locally funded initiative and I’ve had no negative feedback.”

Roy Walker, chair of the Camden Safer Neighbourhood Panel, also said he was assured by the safeguards, adding: “As far as I’m concerned, this can only be beneficial.

“It will also help reduce confrontations with police officers.”

Results of the trial will be published in 18 months.

A public meeting discussing the new technology will take place at Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, between 7pm and 9pm on May 28.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

10:00
The Hall school  triathlon team

A team of 40 mothers and staff from The Hall School, in Hampstead, are running the Blenheim Triathlon on June 4 to raise money for a Swiss Cottage youth project.

09:16
The man was stabbed in Camden High Street near Greenland Street

A murder investigation has been launched after a man in his 30s died after being stabbed on Camden High Street in the early hours this morning.

Chris Roche wants Muswell Hill Library to stay put. Photo: Polly Hancock

A renowned architect fears the historic library will be moved to the site of the former Green Man pub, rather than adapted for greater disability access

Fri, 12:58
Nurul Islam celebrates at his Belsize Park kiosk with customers and Ham&High reporter Emily Banks, right.       Picture: Polly Hancock

The vendor who runs the Belsize Park newspaper kiosk today thanked his customers for pressuring Camden Council into doing a u-turn over the rent hike which threatened his business.

Fri, 11:17
Gabriella with mum Nazanin on her first birthday

A distraught father whose daughter faces her second birthday detained in Iran without her parents has urged children around the world to send her a birthday card.

Fri, 10:56
Victor in Delhi

A ‘smart and popular’ 22-year-old who died in a motorbike crash has been remembered at his former school.

Thu, 18:09
A pole will be located at the end of Nassington  Road by the entrance to Hampstead Heath

New plans for an Orthodox Jewish boundary across Camden have been submitted.

Thu, 15:34
The mystery girl was found wandering in  the evening in Daleham Gardens

Police are trying to trace an 11-year-old girl who was discovered wandering in the street in her pyjamas saying she had run away from home.

PROMOTED CONTENT

There are no rules when it comes to buying studio pottery beyond choosing what you love

With The Great Pottery Throwdown captivating viewers across the nation, pottery courses at capacity, and hipsters snapping up vintage studio pieces to display their succulents in and post on Instagram, studio pottery and ceramics are definitely having a moment.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe