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Police to wear body mounted video cameras
POLICE in Bucks are to start using video cameras which are mounted on their uniform in their bid to combat crime.
Thames Valley Police will issue 300 new Body Worn Video cameras (BWV) across the Force, following a testing period in Slough.
Police say the decision was made to use new BWVs in light of the importance of being able to capture and present the best available evidence for any incident.
The new cameras, supplied by Reveal Media, should also free up officers time as new software will allow images and footage to be downloaded quickly compared to the old system which downloaded footage and burned to DVD.
The force says capturing the best possible evidence on film makes the chances of bringing criminals to justice more likely, and can show the build up to an incident and paint a better picture of the conduct of offenders.
Chief Inspector Gavin Wong, who led the BWV project board said: "Up-to-date cameras will allow further opportunities to capture early evidence and lead to sharing evidence with key decision makers within the criminal justice chain at the very earliest opportunity.
"We have conducted comprehensive focus group phases where the members discussed positives and negatives of the current cameras, requirements for the new cameras, evidential benefits and any potential video downloading issues that could arise when the cameras are brought into the policing work place."
The BWV can be worn when policing at night time, when attending domestic violence incidents and in dealing with anti-social behaviour and even complaints against officers.
Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service said: "I welcome the news that Thames Valley Police has invested in body worn cameras to gather evidence of criminal activity at scenes of violence and disorder.
"The benefits of the cameras are vast. They will discourage unruly behaviour during arrests, thereby protecting officers and the public, rule out issues of offender identification, and will provide indisputable evidence, which will assist the CPS when making charging decisions and prosecuting cases at court.
"Hopefully, the clarity of the evidence recorded will encourage offenders to plead guilty to offences at an earlier stage, reducing the need for lengthy court cases and ensuring speedier justice for victims and witnesses."
The cameras will primarily be used by response and neighbourhood policing officers, but the decision will be made by Local Policing Area Commanders to distribute the cameras to where they will be used most efficiently.
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