New body-worn video cameras will be made available to around 20,000 uniformed police officers in London by the end of March 2016, to help them fight crime and boost public confidence
In trials the cameras have shown their potential to reduce complaints and increase the number of early guilty pleas, helping to speed up the justice process.
This investment puts London’s force at the forefront of innovative policing, and has been made possible with funds raised through the sale of underutilised police buildings. The top 10 sales alone, including the £370 million disposal of the New Scotland Yard site in Victoria, have raised £661 million so far for reinvestment in frontline policing.
Officers’ feedback suggests the devices are most valuable where trust is key and police behaviour is under scrutiny, for example in ‘Stop and Search’, and where early evidence and victim testimony is critical such as in cases of domestic abuse.
The cameras are also helping to better demonstrate the impact of crime on victims, aid professional development and training, and to increase trust in officers.
The London Policing Ethics Panel now intends to produce the UK’s first report into the ethical guidelines around how officers use the cameras, to be published in the autumn.