Friday 17 January 2014

How times have changed !!

Mobile phones

Good reason for officers to be issued with the new BWV’s :

Following a successful pilot Durham Police are rolling out new body worn video devices as personal issue to all frontline officers.

The Body Worn Video (BWV) is a cheaper, smaller and more effective alternative to head-mounted video cameras. Its use has been piloted in Bishop Auckland since August last year and proved so successful that it has been issued force-wide to all response and neighbourhood officers, and eventually PCSOs.

The camera, about the size of a thumb, will be used to record certain interactions with the public, victims and witnesses and the footage will be downloaded onto a central server, available for reference for any other officer.

The cameras have a 4 gigabyte capacity and are capable of recording up to two hours of footage before the BWV needs to be recharged. Officers will not be expected to run the camera all the time, but to remember to turn it on when attending an incident. It is envisaged this practice will become second nature to staff.

The new equipment will prove of particular value as part of the early evidence gathering process to support prosecutions for vulnerable domestic abuse victims who are unwilling to provide a statement or give evidence in court.

“This is an excellent piece of equipment which should prove of benefit to officers as well as victims,” said Insp Simon Orton, who has been leading the pilot project.

“As it fits neatly onto an officer’s lapel or body armour, it’s not obtrusive or cumbersome and will provide actual footage which would be difficult for a suspect to dispute.”

Durham is believed to be the first force in the UK which is making the Body Worn Video available as personal issue to all operational officers.

“The expectation is that this will become a standard piece of kit for officers, the same as their handcuffs, ASP baton and incapacitant spray,” added Insp Orton.

“Already officers are gathering vital evidence which has had a dynamic impact upon CPS charging decisions and the feedback which the project team are receiving is extremely positive."

NB : Jan 13th 2014 - Further funding has been awarded to Durham Constabulary to continue with the purchase of BWV’s

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