Gwent Police roll out “pioneering” Reveal RS2-X2 body cameras
GWENT Police officers will be wearing Reveal RS2-X2 body cameras on their uniform from this month – the first force in Wales to trial the body camera scheme.
Police in the Stow Hill ward in Newport will be given 25 RS2-X2 cameras from next Monday, August 10 to September 10.
If they work as expected, all officers in Gwent could be given the cameras.
The body worn cameras are mounted to uniform and have been used already by the Metropolitan Police Service and Hampshire Constabulary.
It is hoped the body camera scheme will help to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, increase public confidence and victim satisfaction and provide transparency around the actions taken by officers.
The body cams could also be used to record evidence, help speed up the justice process by supporting an early guilty plea and reduce the number of complaints against officers.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said the trial shows how the force is investing in technology “in order to better equip our officers and CSOs”.
He said: “The evidence from other forces has been positive so I will be interested to see the results achieved in Newport before we roll this out across the force area.”
Inspector Richard Blakemore, whose team is leading the trial, said: “We are really excited to be launching this pioneering technology in Newport.
“Over the next month, residents and visitors in Newport City Centre will see officers out and about, wearing the cameras, which we hope will reassure people and make communities feel safer.
“Feedback is vital in improving the service we provide. We’ll be monitoring public opinion on the cameras, so please take a moment to chat with our officers and let us know what you think. “ A study from the University of Portsmouth has shown that the cameras are of real value where police behaviour is open to scrutiny, leading to a reduction in the number of complaints received.
Victims of domestic abuse also benefit from the recording of early evidence and testimony, resulting in a higher number of prosecutions.