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Chairman of West Mercia Police Federation says body worn video is ‘long overdue’

01-02-2017

This article was originally posted on the West Mercia Police Facebook page. You can access it here

Chairman of West Mercia Police Federation, Russ Yeomans, said that body worn video is ‘long overdue.’

This comes after PCC John Campion announced a further investment in Reveal’s body cameras. The joint venture, between West Mercia and Warwickshire Police, will see front-line officers equipped with Reveal’s RS2-X2 body camera. Firearms officers will be among the first to receive the body cameras in the roll out.

Yeomans said: “It is a necessary piece of equipment that’s been long overdue and we’re glad to see that, finally, technology within the police service in West Mercia is being updated and upgraded to present levels elsewhere.

“Officers are subject to a number of complaints that are often quite frivolous – the fact that the incident will be recorded by the officer would allow a quick investigation to take place. That reduces the amount of time that’s being wasted investigating these complaints and allow officers to get on with their work in a better, more timely fashion.”

A recent study on body worn video conducted by Cambridge University associated body worn video with a 90% decrease in complaints against officers and the UK Home Office reports that body worn video can increase in time available for patrol by up to 22%.

Yeomans added: “Generally speaking, research shows that when people know they’re being recorded their behaviour towards police officers change.”

Reveal’s body camera features a front-facing screen, which shows recordings in real time. This has proved to have a calming effect on members of the public, as the body camera brings attention to their behaviour. The increased awareness of their behaviour has helped to de-escalate potentially hostile situations between officers and members of the public.

 “I would hope that in time this will result in a reduction in assaults on police officers, and linking into that the reduction of days sick that officers face as a result of being assaulted,” said Yeomans.

“What this should also do is reduce the amount of not guilty pleas and increase the amount of early guilty pleas when evidence has been clearly captured on video. It should reduce officers’ time being wasted going to court unnecessarily.”

To find out more about the Reveal cameras that West Mercia Police are using please click here.