Police officers in Camden and Islington start wearing body cameras
- Credit: Archant
Camden and Islington have become the latest boroughs where police officers are now walking the streets wearing body cameras.
Body Worn Videos (BWV) were deployed earlier today to approximately 1,200 officers and community support officers (pcsos) working across both borough.
The cameras, which were launched in Lewisham in October then Brent in November, have already shown they can help bring speedier justice for victims as the technology offers greater transparency for those in front of and behind the camera, especially during challenging and contentious interactions such as stop and search.
Front line specialist roles, including overt firearms officers, will have cameras attached to their uniform which will not be permanently recording.
The public will know they are being recorded by the flashing red circle and frequent beeping noise of the camera while it is recording.
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All footage recorded on BWV is subject to legal safeguards and guidance. The footage is automatically uploaded to secure servers once the device has been docked, and flagged for use as evidence at court or other proceedings.
They are automatically deleted within 31 days if not retained as evidence or for policing purposes.
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Residents can ask to see the footage but must do so in writing to obtain it under freedom of information, data protection laws.
Superintendent Nick Davies, lead for BWV roll-out in the Central North Command area, said: “This is a fantastic piece of technology that will really assist officers dealing with a wide variety of incidents. It will show, in detail, the scenes they face and the behaviour of the people involved. It will also assist in improving public confidence in policing by providing an unbiased record of interactions between police and the public.
“There is clear data that there are more guilty pleas where footage from Body Worn Video is used, as the evidence is often overwhelming. This is also a major benefit to victims of crime in not having to attend court unnecessarily.
“I am really positive about the benefits that BWV will bring and believe it is a brilliant piece of kit.”
The North Central Command was set up in January as a test site for a proposed restructure of local policing, which entails moving from a borough-based policing model to Basic Command Units (BCU).