Hundreds of police in Hackney will be donning another piece of tech on their uniforms as body-worn video cameras are rolled out to officers in the borough for the first time. From this week, around 500 frontline and community support officers will hit the East End streets with Body Worn Video. The move is part of the world’s biggest ever roll-out of body cams, which was launched by Scotland Yard last year and over the coming months around 22,000 of the devices will be issued to police in 32 London boroughs and some frontline specialist roles.
The cameras won’t be recording all the time – officers will tell members of the public when they’ve switched them on, and so there’s no doubt, the cameras will flash red while they’re recording. The footage will then be automatically uploaded onto secure servers and kept for evidence or deleted within 31 days. The public can also ask the Met if they want to watch any footage of themselves.
The Met have called the cams an ‘important tool to combat crime’, saying they will create greater transparency for those in front of the camera as well as behind it and bring speedier justice for victims. The force have previously said they hope the cams will restore police trust in communities angered by stop-and-search events. Hackney’s Body Worn Camera lead said: ‘It can be difficult to articulate what officers have witnessed, however with both an audio and visual capability, the cameras deliver much needed context in our presentation of evidence and provide further reassurance to the community.’