Body worn video cameras are being issued to officers across Humberside Police. The phased roll out is already underway and over the next year almost 1700 officers, PCSOs and staff will be trained in their use.
A team in Hull is already using the cameras and further officers and staff in the city will be the next to be trained, followed by those in North East Lincolnshire, then North Lincolnshire and finally the East Riding of Yorkshire.
The cameras, from Reveal Media, feature a front facing screen, which means that members of the public can see what is being recorded. They also have a movable camera head, allowing officers to get different angles without having to unclip the camera and hardware encryption means that footage is safe and secure from the moment it is recorded.
Body worn video will allow Humberside Police to capture evidence in a way that cannot be replicated in a written statement. It will allow the service to harness the emotion of a situation as well as clearly recording every detail from a scene.
Some forces have seen an increase in the number of suspects they are able to charge in relation to domestic abuse, thanks to evidence captured on video at the scene. Others have noted an increase in early guilty pleas when footage from body worn cameras is shown in court – leading to a reduction in the number of vulnerable victims having to attend and give evidence at trial.
There’s also evidence that people who had been behaving violently or in a disruptive way have improved their behaviour when they have seen that they are being recorded, reducing verbal and physical aggression towards our officers and other members of the public.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble said, “We are excited to have such new and cutting edge technology to help us serve the communities in our area. The biggest motivation for rolling out this technology is to support victims – especially victims of domestic abuse.
“If just one perpetrator is put before the courts, who otherwise would’ve escaped justice, then the roll out of the cameras will have been worth all of the expense and complexities.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said, “The benefits of this type of equipment are beginning to be recognised and I hope and anticipate that there will be fewer assaults on officers, that victims will have to attend court less frequently and that more guilty people will be convicted.
“Many forces already have cameras but I’m determined that Humberside Police gets on the front foot and leads rather than follows, so I provided the funds to buy this state of the art equipment, outstripping the capability of most other forces because our officers deserve to have the best tools available to do their job so that communities are best served by them.”
The cameras also provide an impartial and accurate picture of events, enabling greater clarity around complaints against officers and accountability where officers have to use force.