POLICE and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has welcomed the news that body-worn cameras are to be piloted in the Metropolitan Police force, after a successful pilot in Sunderland.
She said: “Northumbria Police has already completed a very successful pilot on the use of body cameras for officers in Sunderland, and we are now carrying out a trial in North Tyneside.
“Body-worn cameras are a valuable tool to help officers to gather evidence at a crime scene, to support and improve the evidence they use in court, which in turn can help victims get a positive outcome from their case.
“They also provide information about officers’ interaction with the public, which helps to make the force more accountable and could reduce the number of complaints.
“We have taken this a step further with funding for the use of body-worn cameras by 24/7 response officers in North Tyneside.
“They use the cameras primarily when responding to domestic violence incidents, to support prosecutions, and we are carrying out an evaluation of the results in that area too.
“The evidence gathered on these cameras can be crucial, particularly when the victim does not feel able to support a prosecution in court.
“The cameras also have a benefit in diffusing violent situations, where the knowledge that their actions are being recorded can deter people from committing, or continuing, violent behaviour.
“We have put in a bid to the Home Office for further funding. If we succeed. the use of body-worn cameras is likely, if the Chief Constable agrees, to be extended to other area commands.”