All frontline officers and staff across West Mercia are now equipped with body worn video, as the rollout completes three months ahead of schedule. Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion made a £1m investment in the technology, promising to equip the force by the end of 2017.
The body worn video plays a significant part in the Commissioner’s plans to reform and modernise West Mercia Police to deliver a more efficient and effective service. The technology, which has been issued across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin over the past six months is designed to reduce complaints against police officers, help prevent crimes occurring and provide clear evidence of incidents.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said, “One of my key promises was to equip West Mercia Police with the tools to do their difficult jobs to the best of their abilities, and I have delivered this, ahead of time and on budget. We are already seeing the benefits of body worn video, and our communities should be reassured by this investment.
“In the coming months we will see more clarity and evidence when incidents occur, increasing the chance of conviction and therefore the quality of service for victims. Our police service will be more accountable, and the cameras should help to prevent crime by diffusing situations and impacting on offender behaviour. These are huge benefits to the police, and to the public, and I look forward to seeing the body worn video playing a part in creating a safer, more secure West Mercia.”
Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans said, “This investment has provided us with a number of significant benefits. It acts as a deterrent. Knowing individuals’ actions are being recorded often has a sobering effect in calming what can sometimes be difficult situations our officers regularly face. It helps to protect officers against some unfounded complaints that are made by giving an independent record of actual events. Most importantly it can provide very clear, compelling evidence to support prosecutions, speed up convictions at court and provide additional support particularly to some of our most vulnerable victims. It is a great step forward for us in better serving our local communities.”
West Mercia Police Federation Secretary Jamie Harrison said, “The Police Federation welcome the introduction of body worn video to all frontline officers and staff and are glad that the role out has been completed ahead of schedule. Mr Campion has been instrumental in driving this forward and has invested in the public and our members. Not only will it help our members do their jobs, it will also protect our members from malicious complaints.”