1000+ Reveal body cameras in operation across Sussex Police
Police officers responding to emergency calls in Sussex will now be able to film the incident with personal issue Reveal body cameras. Sussex Police has been rolling out body-worn cameras to every response officer since the beginning of the year and there are now 1019 in operation across the force.
The RS2-X2 body cameras, which were first used in 2008, are worn on the front of the officers’ uniform at chest height to film what they see. This footage can then be downloaded and stored in DEMS should it be needed as evidence during an investigation and at court.
Superintendent Ed De La Rue, in the Communications Department, said the cameras will be used to protect both the public and officers. “We have been using this technology for almost eight years now and have seen what it can do to support an investigation. It has now become an invaluable tool for our officers.
“Cameras improve safety which means there is a record of what happened in an incident between an officer and members of the public, protecting them both. The cameras are visible on the officers’ uniforms, worn at shoulder height and have a forward facing screen which means members of the public can clearly see what is being recorded.
“The cameras are very visible and have acted as an effective deterrent against violence and aggression both towards other members of the public and also towards police officers.
“They have proven particularly useful in public order situations, for domestic violence and for recording ‘first on the scene’ evidence of property searches and incidents as they progress.
“Once individuals are aware there is a recording capturing their behaviour, they are likely to change the way they act. Also if an individual knows they have been filmed they are more likely to plead at an earlier stage, potentially sparing victims and witnesses the ordeal of giving evidence and reducing time and costs spent in court.”
With most officers wearing them, the public will be told the cameras are filming.
Supt De La Rue added: “Officers will also capture their own behaviour during incident which means we can review and improve how incidents are dealt with and it protects both members of the public and our own officers.”
Footage in the above video shows examples where body worn video has been used in the force.
One shows an officer being assaulted by an offender in Brighton in May last year, another shows officer recording running through Brighton trying to trace a man allegedly smashing windows and carrying a knife, and a man in a flat with a knife.
Commenting on the extra investment for the devices, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne said: “The use of body worn video cameras to help protect our communities and bring offenders to justice is now widespread within policing.
“Officers are constantly telling me that they really value having these cameras out with them when they are patrolling the streets of Sussex. The footage gathered acts as an independent witness to support prosecutions, particularly in cases of domestic abuse where victims may be reluctant to proceed. Also, any improper behaviour is recorded accurately and this will improve the time and the cost of an investigation.
“I fully support the further roll out of these innovative devices that are able to capture real time evidence in an easy to use and accessible digital format. This is a great way to further empower officers to be more effective and efficient in our communities, to enable swifter justice and provide greater evidence to draw on.”