A West Country police chief has called for cameras to be used by all officers. He hopes to implement this change within a year. This comes as an increasing number of public workers are adopting the technology.
What are they for?
Surveillance body cameras are used for a variety of reasons that fall into two categories: prevention and conviction.
Many public sector workers, including police and traffic wardens, are using the cameras to record their interactions. The cameras are visible and members of the public are told that cameras are in use. This can immediately diffuse any demanding situation that an officer can find themselves in and can prevent an altercation from escalating.
The body worn cameras such as those at https://www.pinnacleresponse.com/ can prevent unnecessary litigation where accusations of improper conduct have been levelled against employees. With the appropriate footage on hand, unfounded claims can be quickly dismissed and even prevented in the first place. This offers the workers protection against both aggressive behaviour and unfounded accusations of misconduct.
The cameras are being used to assist with convictions in several areas. They can save time and money when evidence is available. Guilty pleas are more common where cameras are used. Officers in London have found that they have been able to use evidence captured on camera to make quicker convictions following a trial in the capital. Certain areas have seen a rise in convictions thanks to the cameras. Cases of domestic violence are being dealt with swiftly thanks to the availability of footage.
Police chiefs are welcoming the technology as they are helping the public gain insight into modern policing. Policing will be transparent if footage is available. The cameras will help save forces money as convictions will be easier and court time will be reduced where footage is involved. Unnecessary paperwork will also be reduced, giving officers more time to get on with their jobs.
Members of the public will be made aware of the cameras and warned that footage is being taken. Any footage taken will only be stored for a month in accordance with legislation if it is not needed. Police have reassured the public that they have nothing to fear from these cameras as they are increasing the public’s scrutiny of police forces and helping prevent crime.