Body Worn Video Steering Group
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh has appeared on the BBC to talk about the announced MET body worn video initiative: “I would describe this as a pilot, the world’s largest pilot of a technology that shows a lot of promise.
“I visited front-line officers on the Isle of White that are all using Body Cams and one of the officers said “I actually put away my gas and put on my body worn video” because not only can this show transparency between the public and the police, importantly it seems to reduce confrontation particularly in the night time economy.
“Victims of domestic violence, it is a much more powerful way of immediately seeing the impact of abuse and I think in other interactions too, I think it works both ways, we see hopefully a reduction in complaints against the police but also with how the public interact with the police.
“What we’re proposing is the largest pilot in the world, to use technology to move from the 19th century whistle and a pocket book to the sort of technology that will make a difference.
“There will be 500 cameras, in around 8 boroughs, certainly within territorial policing and also, as the commissioners made a commitment around firearms officers.
When asked whether the Home Office guidelines regarding body worn video needed to be updated, Greenhalgh replied “The issue is not just around what the home office prescribe, the issue is around how the whole criminal justice system changes itself and adapts itself we are in the digital era. We need to ensure the evidential value of this is captured.
“Potentially these specific guidelines need to be reviewed, and there can be feedback based on this pilot, worse than that the evidential value that is captured sometimes can’t then be used in the charging process very easily as far as I can understand.
“As we learn we have to make sure the guidelines move with the latest information we have and there is certainly room to improve that.
Greenhalgh was then asked “would you like to see the cameras on all the time?”, to which he replied: “No, I think that at the moment we need to be clear about when there is value because having a camera on all the time means that you will then have to work how much of that you will store.
“We need to be focused on when it will have the biggest impact to reduce complaints against the police and also have the biggest impact on interactions with the public.
Mary Macleod MP concluded her viewpoint on the discussion by declaring: “I really do think it helps protect the police, it helps victims, it helps with prosecutions, I think its good all round”