RS2-X2 cameras bringing “quicker and fairer justice” to North Wales Police
Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Richard Debicki was recently interviewed following the roll out of 128 Reveal RS2-X2 body cameras across the force.
ACC Debicki told local reporters: ”We’re introducing 128 of the new body worn cameras right the way across north wales, so they will be deployed with officers 24 hours a day. We think they offer real positive opportunities for north wales police and indeed the wider community.
“There are a number of benefits, but I think the real principle benefits, as far as I’m concerned, are quicker justice and fairer justice, because effectively the device is an independent witness – it sees what the officer sees at the time of the incident in its raw state. So we are using these in all sorts of different situations and domestic violence is a good example of that.
“You can imagine a situation where there has been a violent domestic incident. The offender might still be agitated, annoyed, aggressive and the camera can see that as it is. The victim may well have injuries and be upset, there may be damaged to the house, there may be children in the house who are upset and that camera will record the evidence at that time. That’s leading to wider admissions from offenders and quicker admissions from offenders, which is obviously really good in the interest of justice and for the victim. That evidence is then being put before the court, it’s very powerful, it’s very compelling. The judge, the jury, the magistrates can see what the officer saw at the scene. So you can see that that is really powerful and has real value.
“Other examples where they have proven useful is in potential public disorder situations. So you’ve got an officer out late at night perhaps, comes across somebody worse for wear with drink, their behaviour has become unacceptable, and the officer switches the device on, lets the person know they have switched the device on and actually that is leading to a real diffusal [sic] of many situations and a coming down of behaviour from the potential offender. So it’s reducing injuries, its making the place safer and just eliminating often, and preventing, a public order incident escalating to somewhere where you wouldn’t want it to go. Again, that’s got to be good in the interest of public safety.
“Potentially in due course, you would like to issue them to all police officers, but we want to see how well they work for us, there’s clearly a cost implication of having them and we want to give a really good evaluation before we decide if we’re going to give them to all officers. But I can see a point in time in the future were actually, all our front line officers may have these devices.”
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Roddick is equally enthusiastic about the introduction of the Reveal body cameras: “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” he explained.
“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.
“It’ll 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.”