Posted on 15th June 2015
Police in Chesterfield have started trialling body worn video devices to help officers record crimes and incidents as they happen.
The cameras attach to officers’ high-visibility equipment vests and can record high definition video instantly, at the push of a button.
They are now being piloted in Chesterfield town centre, before a further roll-out in Amber Valley, Matlock, Buxton and parts of Derby over the next few weeks.
Body worn video cameras have been used previously but the new devices are part of a collaborative project between police forces across the East Midlands.
The aim is to help officers record quality evidence of live incidents to support victims and witnesses of crime, encourage early guilty pleas, reduce complaints against police and reassure wider communities.
Superintendent Graham McLaughlin, from Derbyshire police, said: “There is clear evidence that the use of these devices can help reduce crime, especially alcohol-fuelled violence.
“If people are aware they are being recorded then they may be less-inclined to act violently, offensively or anti-socially.
“We also believe that the cameras encourage offenders to plead guilty to crimes at the first opportunity, when there is supporting video evidence.
“All of this shows that the devices can help us protect communities, prevent crimes from taking place, bring offenders to justice, and increase our efficiency at doing so.”
In total, 542 body worn cameras will be issued to officers across Derbyshire over the next year, with a further 200 due the following year.
They are not switched on at all times and will only start recording at the discretion of the officer wearing it.
All recorded footage is encrypted and secure, and automatically deletes after 31 days of the filming. Any material that is eventually used in evidence can be retained for between six and 100 years.
The regional project has been part-funded by the Home Office Police Innovation Fund, which is provided to forces who can demonstrate efficiency savings through innovation.
For more information, visit www.derbyshire.police.uk