Police to get body cameras to help gather evidence

A body mounted video camera displayed  by Hampshire  Police in 2008
A body mounted video camera displayed by Hampshire Police in 2008
Swansea City Centre. Credit: Wiki Commons (Labelled for reuse)

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NEW camera equipment will be used by police officers to help gather evidence and support prosecutions.

A new range of body-worn video cameras will be issued to Hampshire Constabulary to officers to replace the force’s existing stock.

The cameras are devices which officers wear attached to their chest, capturing audio and video evidence as they work to help support prosecutions.

The equipment will mostly be used by the force’s response teams, with Safer Neighbourhood officers also being able to use available cameras.

A total of 270 cameras will be introduced in Hampshire.

An additional 183 are going to the Isle of Wight for Operation Hyperion which sees all officers there wearing the cameras.

The equipment cost a total of £308,500 with the cameras for Hampshire costing £261,000 and the Isle of Wight cameras coming in at £47,500.

The cameras will replace the ones currently used, which were bought in 2008, and are more sophisticated than their predecessors.

Chief Inspector Gavin McMillan, who is leading the BWV project for Hampshire Constabulary, said: ‘The use of body-worn video equipment across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has provided additional independent evidence to help support the prosecution of offenders, deter anti-social behaviour and ultimately improve community safety.’

The cameras were first tried out by UK police forces in 2006/07.

They have been used in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight since 2008.

Chief Insp McMillan added: ‘The new generation camera being supplied to officers will provide them with the most up-to-date technology on the market.

‘The equipment will be supported by some intelligent software that will make the management of the material obtained easier and acceptable to the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts.

‘I am keen to see officers making use of the cameras at every incident they attend, as it will provide essential additional evidence that will help prevent and detect crime, and bring offenders to justice.’

Hampshire Constabulary bought the cameras from body-worn camera experts, Reveal Media.