Crime on camera - 1,400 body video cameras rolled out to frontline police in Herts

PUBLISHED: 12:15 14 September 2015

Frontline police officers are to get body worn cameras in Hertfordshire. Picture by Reveal Media

Frontline police officers are to get body worn cameras in Hertfordshire. Picture by Reveal Media

Archant

Police across Herts will soon be wearing new body cameras as 1,400 of the high-tech units are rolled out across the county.

Senior officers say the body-mounted video units, already in use in neighbouring Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, are an effective tool for gathering evidence, bringing more crooks to justice and establishing greater transparency in policing.

By the end of October all frontline officers in Herts, including safer neighbourhood PCs and commnunity support officers, will have been issued with their kit.

Body-worn camera technology has been used by Herts officers in recent years for specific operations, but now the latest generation of the equipment will form part of the standard equipment, allowing instant recording of images.

Det Supt Shirley Sargent, who has been overseeing the project, said: “The force is committed to making best use of technology to improve efficiency, help keep the public safe and bring criminals to justice.

“This technology, which is what most people have on their mobile phones, provides better standards of evidence as well as a record of the challenging encounters that police face on a daily basis.

“Evidence from our trials shows that cameras can contribute to earlier guilty pleas by offenders, fewer complaints against police and more effective evidence gathering in domestic abuse investigations.”

Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd added: “I welcome this commitment to both using technology to increase efficiency and to further the cause of transparent policing.

“Recording police work and interactions is by its very nature a transparent process and can only improve confidence in policing among the general public.”

The rollout also sees the introduction of a new video management system, allowing officers around the county to instantly download and share video evidence. This will mean evidence for investigations or complaints against police can be reviewed faster as well as allow better data collection and training.

Insp Adam Such, the force’s tactical lead for body worn video, said: “Having a BWV camera at the scene of an incident or crime is effectively like having extra independent witness whose evidence cannot be disputed.

“The new video management system will then allow the data collected reviewed and shared among investigating officers almost instantaneously. Combine these two new developments and we will have a much more efficient and flexible system which will provide an increased level of service to the public.”

The Reveal RS2-RX camera has been developed in consultation with a number of UK police forces.

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