Cleveland Police sees benefits of BWV cameras

Cleveland Police is the latest force to issue body-worn video (BWV) cameras to officers, primarily for use in domestic abuse incidents although they will also be available to support the investigation of other crimes.

Apr 9, 2015
By Paul Jacques

Cleveland Police is the latest force to issue body-worn video (BWV) cameras to officers, primarily for use in domestic abuse incidents although they will also be available to support the investigation of other crimes.

Acting Deputy Chief Constable Simon Nickless said: “BWV has been used for some time in several other forces across the country and it has been shown to be very useful operationally. For example, it has been seen to moderate the behaviour of some people who are acting aggressively, both in domestic abuse and public order situations.

“It will provide strong additional evidence for use in court and it is hoped that it will help increase public confidence. In addition, our officers face threats of danger on the streets every single day and BWV will go some way to protect them from harm.

“As police officers we aim to protect members of the public and their property and prevent, detect and investigate crime and prevent public disorder. I am confident that BWV will assist us further in doing so.”

The cameras are expected to capture evidence of crimes as they happen and reduce confrontations while enhancing accountability, increasing public confidence and reducing complaints.

The BWV cameras have been funded by the Ministry of Justice Competed Fund through the police and crime commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger.

The Reveal Media RS3SX cameras are already being used by 30 of the 43 forces across the country.

They record audio and video, which gives officers an immediate and exact record of anything they are dealing with as well as the effects that an incident can have on a victim and others present at the time. Recordings will be activated only when an officer considers it is necessary in the circumstances.

Mr Coppinger explained: “As part of a joint effort in tackling violence against men and women with the PCC for Durham, Ron Hogg, and the PCC for Northumbria, Vera Baird, we applied for the funds to implement BWV in Cleveland.

“The cameras will assist the police in dealing with potentially dangerous incidents and it could help bring more criminals to justice.”

Bedfordshire Police has confirmed it is to issue a further 1,000 BWV cameras to frontline officers as part of its drive to increase effectiveness and efficiency through technology.

Head of continuous improvement, Superintendent Jim Lunn, said: “The cameras are extremely useful since they mean evidence can be collected quickly and in a completely transparent way. Other forces using this technology have found that the cameras have contributed towards early pleas from offenders, a reduction in challenges to police evidence in court, a reduction in the number of complaints against police and had a positive impact upon domestic violence prosecutions.”

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