News

Every officer in Derbyshire now equipped with Reveal body worn cameras

20-09-2016

See the original piece here
 

This dramatic footage - which shows an angry man being confronted with a stun gun - has been caught on video by a Derbyshire police officer wearing a Reveal RS2-X2 body camera.

It is the second of two clips that feature on the video above and demonstrates the vital role the body-worn cameras play in policing and why every police officer in the force is now equipped with the devices.

As well as uniformed officers, the cameras have also been issued to every police community support officer, special constable and trained negotiators.

The high-definition camera is clipped on to the uniform using a klickfast stud and is being used to gather evidence when crimes are being committed.

Their use is already reaping rewards with a number of successful convictions come about from moving images the cameras have recorded.

Superintendent Graham McLaughlin said: "We have had body-worn video cameras previously but advancements in the size and how user friendly they were led to us investing in new kit.

"The cameras we use now are extremely lightweight, durable, clip onto equipment vests in seconds and record in high definition at the touch of a button.

"Ultimately, the point of the cameras is to help us achieve three goals: to better protect victims and communities, to prevent crimes from taking place, and to bring offenders to justice quickly.

"They have proved their worth many times over."


The RS2-X2 body cameras are used to record quality evidence of live incidents as they happen, with the footage then used to support victim and witness accounts.

The police say footage also helps to encourage early guilty pleas by offenders who are shown the clips as part of the prosecution process.

Mr McLaughlin said: "It's clear from our use of these cameras that they can help reduce crime in the first place, particularly alcohol-fuelled violence.

"The officers tell those involved in an incident that they are being recorded and when this happens, they may be less inclined to act violently or offensively.

"We've also seen first-hand how the footage can change somebody from being adamant that they have done nothing wrong, to admitting it fully when they see it on camera.

"The effect it has is quite remarkable and at the end of the day, saves a lot of police officer time and effort in getting criminals before the courts."

On one occasion, a 29-year-old man was verbally abusive to officers who were responding to a call about a domestic dispute.

He was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace but later claimed that he had been kneed in the back and racially abused by the officer during arrest.

The man made a complaint to a custody sergeant, who then reviewed footage of the entire incident and arrest. The video showed that no excessive force had been used and that there had been no racial abuse.

The man withdrew his complaint immediately when faced with the camera footage, saving the vast amount of time that would have been spent investigating his allegation.

In another incident, three officers were assaulted by a 19-year-old man following a domestic disturbance in Ilkeston. The body-worn video footage was clear enough to secure charges for three assaults, a domestic violence assault and criminal damage.

And a third example shows how the cameras can support prosecutions even when there is no victim.

Officers were called to a domestic violence complaint but, by the time they arrived, the offender had left.

The officers used the body-worn cameras to record the victim's version of events.

But she then changed her mind and did not want to support a prosecution

The quality of the evidence and the initial account from the victim was so strong that it was enough for the Crown Prosecution Service to bring the offender before the courts where previously, without such evidence, it would not have been possible.

Mr McLaughlin said: "One of the main focuses of the body-worn video project has always been to better protect victims and vulnerable people.

"In some cases, it can become a 'one word against another' argument but, when faced with video footage of the entire incident taking place, there is very little room for dispute.

"Another case involved a man who was stopped for dangerous driving and became threatening to the officers, even racially abusing one.

"He tried to deny it – until the footage was played out in court. He then immediately pleaded guilty, was jailed for 22 weeks and banned from driving for two years.

"It just goes to show how beneficial live incident footage can be in speeding up the judicial process."

Derbyshire Police are also using our digital management evidence software DEMS to securely store, manage and share their digital evidence.


Questions and answers:

How many officers in Derby city centre are now wearing the body cams?

All PCs and sergeants, SNT officers, negotiators, PCSOs, Special Constables and some operational support officers (e.g. roads policing), are now issued with their own body worn video cameras. This amounts to around 2,000 people.

Where did the idea come from?

It had been a project in Derbyshire for several years, where a team examined the best kit and how to implement it. When the Reveal cameras became available, the project was reinvigorated and a pilot was launched in Chesterfield. Instant success.

Request a demo with Reveal body cameras