North Wales Police officers to wear body cameras
Police in North Wales are to wear Reveal's chest-mounted body cameras in a bid to capture evidence, reduce confrontation and improve public confidence in the force.
North Wales Police are introducing 128 video camera kits, which will be deployed across the force area and worn by officers. The use of the crime-fighting technology has been welcomed by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick, following a successful six-month trial of the equipment last year.
He hopes the use of the HD cameras will help to gather evidence, reduce confrontations and complaints, and improve public confidence in the police.
Mr Roddick said: “Body-worn video is a good use of modern technology to improve the effectiveness of policing and of the criminal justice system more generally, because the camera doesn’t lie." "The camera films an event as it is happening, which provides instant evidence which is contemporaneous."
“It can deter some criminals from committing a crime and, when they do commit a crime, it persuades them that there’s no alternative other than pleading guilty." He also said the body worn video cameras would "save a lot of money not only in policing but also in the administration of justice and in court time in particular."
“The technology offers protection to police officers and the public, because the potential criminal knows that, if he or she commits a crime within seeing distance of the lens, they’re going to be observed and they’re going to be arrested. This is a huge leap forward in terms of policing.”
The devices are already being used by 30 forces in England and Wales.
Once back at the police station, the police officer will dock the device and the video will automatically go to the digital store of evidence which is integrated with the force’s central records management system.
A study conducted in Essex showed a higher percentage of people were charged with offences when officers wore cameras, with 81% of people charged compared to 72% when officers did not wear a device.
Police believe the equipment is particularly useful for officers dealing with domestic violence, and can be used to record injuries and damage as well as the behaviour and demeanour of the aggressor and the victim.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki said body-worn video has “moderated” the behaviour of some people who are acting aggressively.
This can help prevent a further escalation of violence and aggression from people who know they are being filmed.
ACC Debicki said: “A picture is worth a thousand words. The injured party may have injuries and marks on them which may not be visible later but will be instantly captured using the body-worn video."
“You can imagine going to a scene of domestic violence. There might be damage and a complete mess in the room."
“You can also see the emotion and the willingness of the victim at that point to say what happened."
“So it’s very good to capture the scene at that point, in terms of the victim and the real impact and upset that these incidents have.”