Sudbury Community Wardens adopt Reveal body cameras to tackle anti-social behaviour
Sudbury Town Council have rolled out Reveal body cameras to support its wardens when dealing with aggressive behaviour, with offenders warned that video evidence could be used to prosecute them.
Warden team supervisor Bradley Smith explained that in the past, wardens have suffered abuse while manning road closures and public events – but when they trailed the cameras at the Sudbury Fun Run last month, they noticed a significant decrease in the level of bad behaviour.
“We do not encourage our staff to film at all times – they only film if they need to film,” Mr Smith told the Free Press.
“If someone is on camera, they don’t play up, because the camera never lies.
“I think it’s a positive step forward towards what we all want. Everyone says they want to live in a clean society.
“If we see someone littering and they are abusive towards us, we have got to up our ante if we want to reach our goal of living in a litter-free society.”
The introduction of the body cameras has been welcomed by Suffolk Police and Babergh District Council, who both believe it will make a big difference to the confidence of wardens, by preventing anti-social individuals from dismissing their description of events.
Danny Cooper, local policing inspector for Sudbury, said: “We already work closely with the community wardens and other partners in Sudbury, so I am really supportive of this plan.
“Given some of the other priorities that police officers are working on, this scheme will ensure that all issues will continue to receive attention and we will support the wardens when required.
“Police officers have recently been issued with body worn video cameras and although still new, the initial feedback has been really positive around securing evidence and encouraging people to behave appropriately.
“Footage also clearly shows the impact that some behaviour can have, which is sometimes difficult to describe in a traditional, written statement.”
Sudbury town clerk Jacqui Howells said: “The new body worn cameras will assist town council staff in encouraging people to be proud of the community and be aware of their environment.
“Littering in our towns and countryside is an increasing problem and we need to get tougher on repeat offenders.
“The cameras will also be effective when our staff receive abuse for managing road closures during town events and other emergency situations.”