Head cameras ‘to fight crime’

Police across England and Wales will have access to head camera technology, used to boost conviction rates in violent crime especially domestic violence.

Following a successful trial, the Home Office concluded equipping police with head mounted cameras – which record violent incidents or the offenders’ behaviour during an arrest – helped to increase the number of cases brought to justice.

Police minister Tony McNulty announced today an extra £3 million of funding to roll out the cameras, known as body worn video devices, across England and Wales.

Mr McNulty said the “revolutionary” approach meant offenders could not deny their involvement in an incident.

This leads to less paperwork for the police, more guilty pleas, less time spent in court and ultimately a rise in convictions, he explained.

Mr McNulty said: “The use of body worn cameras has the potential to improve significantly the quality of evidence provided by police officers in the drive to reduce crime, the fear of crime and increase the proportion of offenders brought to justice.

“This government is committed to tackling violent crime and antisocial behaviour and the assessment so far is that the deployment of this new technology could be very effective in reducing crime, acting as a preventative tool and a means to enhance detections.”

The technology is being made available to all frontline police after a successful pilot by the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary.

An independent evaluation of the trial showed the cameras increased the proportion of crimes where offenders were brought to justice.

The head cameras are particularly beneficial in domestic violence cases, where the police have historically struggled to obtain a conviction.

The government found head cameras allowed the police to collect credible evidence that undermined offenders’ attempts to appear respectable in court.