Body worn video
Just after my December newsletter was circulated I was pleased to announce that I had approved the funding for all frontline officers in Warwickshire to be equipped with body worn video cameras. Firearms and Taser-trained officers will be among the first to receive the equipment, followed by patrol officers, with all front-line operational officers – including those in Safer Neighbourhood Teams – gaining body-worn cameras during the remainder of 2017.
Officers in the West Mercia Police area will be similarly equipped, with the initial purchase cost for the rollout across the two forces around £1 million.
This significant investment in new technology is great news, both for frontline police officers, coming as being a major part of my commitment to substantially modernise technology across Warwickshire Police, ensuring officers have the right equipment and training to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
The introduction of body-worn cameras will also play an important role in helping to boost public confidence in policing – another of the key ambitions of my Police and Crime Plan.
Body worn cameras will help officers to achieve better outcomes and capture important evidence to bring cases to court. Having a clear and irrefutable picture of what has happened in any incident is valuable, not only from an evidential perspective, but also because it provides the public with a record of how the police have acted. This greater openness and transparency will be very beneficial, for example when dealing with complaints against officers, where I believe it will help to reduce the numbers of illegitimate allegations being made, while at the same time allowing the thorough investigation of legitimate complaints to be carried out in a much more efficient and timely way.
Introducing the technology will require a phased roll-out but I am pleased that by the end of 2017 we will be in a position to see front-line officers in all parts of the force fully equipped.