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New bodycams for all frontline police officers in Staffordshire

By Tamworth Herald  |  Posted: October 12, 2013

All frontline police officers in Staffordshire will wear new high-tech bodycams.

All frontline police officers in Staffordshire will wear new high-tech bodycams

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All frontline police officers, PCSOs and Special Constables are to get state-of-the art bodycams in a brand-new scheme funded by the county's police and crime commissioner.

The body-worn video cameras will be rolled out to officers across Staffordshire in coming months following a successful pilot north of the county.

They were commissioned by Matthew Ellis as part of a major investment in new technology that will see officers provided with the right tools to do their job.

"The cameras will improve evidence gathering, give better protection to officers, ensure transparency when dealing with the public and prove invaluable in instances where there are complaints against officers," explained Mr Ellis.

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"They will also lead to efficiencies and savings at court through the use of video evidence instead of thousands of written words – cutting paperwork and getting officers back on the streets."

The scheme will provide 530 new cameras at police bases – enough for every frontline officer, PCSO and Special Constable on duty at any one time - including Tamworth and Lichfield.

It will allow officers at the touch of a button to record video and audio at crime scenes, including low-light situations, which can then be played directly in court as evidence.

Mr Ellis added: “This is something I’m keen to invest in. It is part of a major technology plan to free up officer time and create thousands of extra hours of visible policing.

“The advantage of having these cameras is that it starts to remove any doubts as to what happened because it’s caught on film.

“This is at the centre of my Safer, Fairer, United Communities strategy which is about investing now to save money later and free up officer time. It will also contribute towards Staffordshire becoming the most technologically advanced force in the country.”

Staffordshire Police is believed to be the first force in the UK to have body cams for all frontline officers.

Assistant Chief Constable Julian Blazeby, from Staffordshire Police, said: “Body-worn video is a great tool for officers which means they can capture evidence from victims and witnesses and deal with vulnerable people more effectively.

“The cameras will provide a better quality service and bring people to justice more quickly by assisting with early guilty pleas and swift prosecutions. Courts will be able see first-hand exactly what an offence looked like on the particular day in question.

“It will also provide a lot more transparency for staff – particularly around stop and search – and increase public confidence in policing.”

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