Cameras are a great step forward in fighting crime

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It’s fair to say that The News does a fair bit of reporting on crime and issues surrounding it.

From that bin fire at the end of your street, to a major offence, the stories are contained within our pages.

And we have also reported extensively on the pressures the police are facing in the coming years in terms of budget and keeping crime numbers falling.

Which means it’s great news that we can tell you today of an advance.

A trial of police officers using body-worn video cameras has resulted in a drop in the number of offences for public order and assault.

And not just by a few. Over the 12 months of the trial the number of offences fell from 1,700 to 1,400. Not to be sniffed at.

And it was, at least in part, thanks to a video camera.

No doubt some of you will have seen police officers wearing the devices.

They’re small and sit on the lapel and allow the officer to get great footage of whatever they’ve looking at.

Certainly a deterrent for anyone standing in front of them considering committing an offence.

So after this initial success, a further 500 cameras are being rolled out to officers across the area.

If that fall on these low-level offences is replicated, it will make a dramatic difference.

Yes, this is not tackling the top end of the criminal ladder, but it is directly fighting the type of criminality that people are most likely to come across in their day-to-day lives.

So we applaud this forward-thinking use of technology. And we echo the county’s police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes when he says: ‘This should be of some reassurance to society as a whole.’

It certainly is and we look forward to being able to tell you about its continued success in the months to come.

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