Partnership launches headcams in the Vale

The Safer Vale Partnership has issued police and Vale of Glamorgan Council’s licensing and trading standards officers with lightweight head cameras to tackle troublemakers.

Mar 27, 2008
By Website Editor
L-R: PC Joe Swan, Sgt Thomas Neilson and Sgt Chris Smith

The Safer Vale Partnership has issued police and Vale of Glamorgan Council’s licensing and trading standards officers with lightweight head cameras to tackle troublemakers.

Officers in the Vale of Glamorgan are to be equipped with head mounted cameras, which will record everything in the direction the officer is looking. The tiny cameras are about the size of an AA battery and can record images of an extremely high quality.

A deterrent for anti-social behaviour, eight of the devices have been issued to officers across the Vale and if the initiative proves successful, even more officers will eventually be equipped with a head camera.

The hi-tech gadgets can be strapped to officers’ heads and feed images to digital recorders on their belts. The portable systems can store hundreds of hours of material and provide instant playback on a small screen.

Police say the cameras are particularly useful for filming disturbances.

The cameras, which are already in operation in other parts of England and Wales, have been introduced by the Safer Vale Partnership in the hope of fighting and deterring crime.

They are being used in anti-social behaviour hotspots across the area. Every recorded frame is watermarked and tamper-proof.

South Wales Police said footage can be used as evidence in court, which will save time and result in more guilty pleas.

Inspector Jim Hall said: “We have been using these cameras on a daily basis and they have proved very effective. Previously, when officers have visited parents to inform them their children have been involved in anti-social behaviour; many parents found it hard to believe their children are capable of such behaviour.

“Now, with the new technology available to us we are able to play back the footage so they can see for themselves what their children have been doing.”

He added: “We have shown the footage to a number of parents and have received very positive feedback from them.

“They are grateful we are giving them the chance to resolve the problem first rather than arresting their child and dealing with the matter at the police station.”

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