Met Police rolls out body cameras
Cameras will be distributed to 22,000 Metropolitan Police officers in London boroughs
The Metropolitan Police has started its roll out of Body Worn Cameras (BWC) to more than 22,000 officers on London's streets.
They will be implemented in all 32 boroughs around the Capital and will be used to monitor communications with the public, protecting both them and the officers.
The Met Police is hoping it will aid investigations into cases where the police have to talk publicly to victims and criminals and they will prove particularly useful for domestic abuse cases.
"Our experience of using cameras already shows that people are more likely to plead guilty when they know we have captured the incident on a camera. That then speeds up justice, puts offenders behind bars more quickly and most importantly protects potential victims," Hogan-Howe, said.
"Video captures events in a way that can't be represented on paper in the same detail, a picture paints a thousand words, and it has been shown the mere presence of this type of video can often defuse potentially violent situations without the need for force to be used."
Although the police won't record every single liaison with the public, they will record when they view it to be necessary and the citizen will be told as soon as practical that they are being recorded.
Members of the public can request the footage if they wish using the freedom of information, data protection laws and it must be provided within 31 days unless it has been flagged as police evidence and in such cases, it cannot be disclosed until the matter is closed.
The announcement was made by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and managing director of Axon Public Safety UK who provided the technology, Matt Spencer.
"Body Worn Video is a huge step forward in bringing our capital's police force into the 21st century and encouraging trust and confidence in community policing," London Mayor Sadiq Khan, said.
"This technology is already helping drive down complaints against officers and making them more accountable, as well as helping to gather better evidence for swifter justice. As we roll them out across London, these cameras will make a real difference to officers, as they continue their great work on the frontline fighting crime and keeping our city safe."
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