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Bodycams shed new light on crime from victim perspective

November 18, 2013

bodycams-980x360STAFFORDSHIRE’S pioneering Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has chalked up another first for the county – by funding the introduction of new body cameras.

Police in Staffordshire are believed to be the first force in the UK to have the state-of-the-art gear for all frontline officers.

Police officers, PCSOs and special constables will all wear the new high-tech bodycams in a bid to “improve evidence gathering and give better protection to officers”.

The body-worn video cameras will be rolled out to 530 officers across Staffordshire in the coming months following a successful pilot north of the county.

It will allow themat the touch of a button to record video and audio at crime scenes, including low-light situations, which can then be played directly in court as evidence.

They have been commissioned by the Office of the PCC as part of a major investment in new technology that will see officers provided with the “right tools to do their job”.

The cameras will improve evidence gathering, give better protection to officers, ensure transparency when dealing with the public and prove invaluable in instances where there are complaints against officers.

They will also lead to efficiencies and savings at court through the use of video evidence instead of thousands of written words – cutting paperwork and getting officers back on the streets.”

This is something I’m keen to invest in. It is part of a major technology plan to free up officer time and create thousands of extra hours of visible policing.

The advantage of having these cameras is that it starts to remove any doubts as to what happened because it’s caught on film.

This is at the centre of my Safer, Fairer, United Communities strategy which is about investing now to save money later and free up officer time.

It will also contribute towards Staffordshire becoming the most technologically advanced force in the country.

Assistant Chief Constable Julian Blazeby, from Staffordshire Police, said: “Body-worn video is a great tool for officers as it means they can capture evidence from victims and witnesses.

“Courts will be able see first-hand exactly what an offence looked like on the particular day in question – it will also provide more transparency.”

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