Eastern IFCA Deploys Body Worn Video Cameras
Body worn camera use by police and other law enforcement agencies is becoming increasingly common throughout the UK. It assists to enhance evidence gathering and improves the safety and well-being of officers as they carry out their duties;
Worn overtly, the cameras are typically mounted on a chest or shoulder harness so that when activated, they can record events as they are observed by the officer. Such footage can often convey the nature and events of an incident with much greater clarity than an account documented by written statement alone.
Recognising the benefits of body worn video, Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority is set to adopt this technology; with officers currently being trained to use the cameras when conducting their duties.
Officers will begin wearing the cameras which are capable of recording high quality audio and visual footage. The devices are compact, easy to use and feature a forward-facing screen, allowing those being recorded to see that the camera is in use.
Officers will carry devices at all times but recording will not be continuous; devices will only be activated when officers are investigating potential non-compliance or when dealing with hostile or threatening behaviour.
In such cases body worn video footage will provide officers with contemporaneous evidence showing what happened and what was said; avoiding disputes and quickly establishing important facts.
Jon Butler Eastern IFCAs Head of Operations has said “Officer safety is of paramount importance and the use of body worn video by other organisations has been seen to de-escalate and prevent conflict. Our officers are trained to diffuse hostile situations and the use of body cameras will mean they can feel confident that such events are reported in a manner which is difficult to dispute.”
“The evidential benefit of body camera footage is clear in many cases. It allows the facts to be established and leaves little room for doubt or misinterpretation”