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Body Cameras Help Police Crackdown on Racial Abuse in Norfolk

13-03-2017

This article was originally posted on Eastern Daily Press, you can read it here.

Image by Ian Burt

Body camera footage has been key in convicting a woman of racial abuse in Kings Lynn, Norfolk.

Police were called to the scene on Sunday 5th March, at around 10pm. It is reported than an intoxicated woman approached Anushan Sivanesan as he was closing the shutters of T K Food and Wine, on Wisbech Road in South Lynn.

Mr Sivanesan said that the woman dropped some change and requested to be let in to the shop to find it. After he had let her in the shop, the woman refused to leave and Mr Sivanesan had no choice but to call the police.

Speaking after the case, Mr Sivanesan said: “She seemed a little bit drunk. She came to the door asking for alcohol and I told her I can’t serve her.

“She did not move and was stopping me from closing the shop.

"When the police arrived she was shouting at me, saying things about my colour,” he added.

The racial attack on Mr Sivanesan was captured by one of the officers' body cameras.

It was recently announced by the Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, that all Norfolk police officers will be equipped with Reveal body cameras. Green said that the body cameras were “21st century tools to fight 21st century crime,” and instrumental in protecting both the police and the public.

After the racial abuse incident, Mr Sivanesan said: “This is the third time something like this has happened to me. That night I couldn’t sleep, my mind was running.

“It made me feel more than angry - you can feel angry with anyone but with this it was a different kind of anger.”

He endorsed the use of body cameras, and said: “it was very helpful in my situation. Some CCTV cameras don’t pick up sound so in that case I can’t prove she was shouting racist things. In some places there are no CCTV cameras."

Melanie Dickerson appeared via video-link at Norwich Magistrates Court where she admitted a charge of racially aggravated threatening behaviour. She was ordered to pay Mr Sivanesan £50 compensation and detained for the rest of the day as part of her punishment for the offence.

“Police body cameras will make a difference,” said Mr Sivanesan.

To request a free demo of Reveal’s body camera please click here.