A joint project between Dorset Police and Devon and Cornwall Police to equip officers with a body worn video (BWV) was launched this week.
BWV is a small camera attached to officers allowing them to record incidents and encounters when necessary. The motivation for the introduction of BWV is for evidential reasons, to provide an unbiased account that can lead to a quicker and fairer administration of justice.
Project lead, Superintendent Claire Armes, said: “BWV will provide our officers and staff with vital technology. It is there to keep both the public and our officers safe.
“As well as bringing greater transparency to our policing activity, there are a number of operational benefits. The immediate capturing of vital evidence to support swift investigations and increased convictions rates particularly in the case of domestic abuse.”
In the first few days of force use, BWV has already resulted in several early guilty pleas including a defendant in Plymouth being charged and sent to court on the same day.
Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Police & Crime Commissioner, Alison Hernandez, said: “I want to say a big thank you to our community who have been paying an additional one pound per month in their council tax since April to support policing. Part of this is being used to help fund BWV for our frontline officers.
“We’ve been watching other forces closely who have used these type of cameras before and seen that footage obtained can lead to early convictions and guilty pleas by providing invaluable evidence in court.
“I am especially pleased that we are going to be able to help support our frontline staff by capturing those who decide to assault them when they are out keeping us all safe.”