Body Worn Video Steering Group
Gwent Police are the latest Police Force in the UK who will be trialling body worn cameras with funding from the Home Office.
360 front-line officers will be equipped with body worn cameras in a bid to test the durability and reliability of the technology, before rolling them out on a national level.
The pilot was approved by Home Secretary Theresa May, who has been keen supporter of body worn cameras for a number of years.
Ian Johnston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent said “I’m delighted that the force has been awarded this funding and I’m confident that the benefit of using these cameras and the associated technology will be realised in terms of criminal justice savings and in terms of Police Officer integrity and safety.
“Body-worn camera evidence is irrefutable and the principles of securing and preserving evidence are enhanced by them. They will strengthen cases going to the criminal courts.
“Scientific research also supports the evidence that body worn cameras can assist in de-escalating an incident when the offenders are made aware of its presence. In some cases, they could also provide evidence that will help those who feel aggrieved over the way they have been treated by the police and also to help protect police officers themselves from wrongful accusations.
“The wide-spread introduction of this technology also complements my police and crime plan for Gwent which aims to put victims of crime at the heart of everything we do and ensures that people here are less affected by crime and anti-social behaviour and are protected from serious harm. It also ensures that we can continue in our aim to provide the people of Gwent with a Police service that is value for money.”
Lorraine Bottomley, Temporary Deputy Chief Constable added: “This is very welcome news. The technology offers benefits in terms of transparency, building trust with the public as well as allowing officers to have an accurate and verifiable digital record of incidents.
“Evidence from other force areas which have used this technology indicates that its can increase the number of early guilty pleas and successful prosecutions in relation to incidents investigated by the Police.
“This will provide more positive outcomes for victims of crime as well as generating considerable cost savings for the taxpayer in way of less protracted court hearings. Other Forces have also seen a decline in the number of vexatious or spurious complaints against officers which can and does waste a lot of precious police time and resources.”