‘Huge step forward’ as rollout of BWV gathers pace

More than 7,500 officers at the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have now been issued with body-worn video (BWV) cameras after 600 officers in the force’s Territorial Support Group (TSG) were the latest to be given the devices to complete phase one of the project’s rollout.

Feb 1, 2017
By Paul Jacques

More than 7,500 officers at the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have now been issued with body-worn video (BWV) cameras after 600 officers in the force’s Territorial Support Group (TSG) were the latest to be given the devices to complete phase one of the project’s rollout.

Over the coming months, cameras will be issued to the remaining Taskforce team – Marine Policing Unit, Dog Support Unit, Mounted Branch and the automatic numberplate recognition units – as well as a further 22 boroughs and officers on frontline specialist roles, including overt firearms officers.

Chief Superintendent Craig Haslam, the MPS’ Taskforce lead, said the introduction of BWV for colleagues working in the Taskforce was “great news”.

“Trials show the footage helps us present clear evidence and secure convictions at court,” he added.

“Equipping TSG officers with this technology will also show their outstanding professional conduct while operating in often dangerous and high-intensity situations.

“I believe this will be a positive step in enhancing public confidence in the Taskforce and wider Met.”

The MPS says BWV offers “greater transparency” for those in front of the camera as well as behind it, adding that Londoners can “feel reassured during their interactions with the police”, while they will also help officers to gather evidence and “demonstrate their professionalism in the face of the many challenges involved in policing the capital”.

The cameras have already shown they can help bring about speedier justice for victims, particularly in domestic abuse cases where there has been an increase in early guilty pleas from offenders who know their actions have been recorded.

The MPS will use a secure cloud-based service to store and review the millions of hours of video footage filmed on officers’ BWV cameras, which is automatically uploaded once the device has been docked and flagged for use as evidence at court or other proceedings.

Following an initial pilot in 2014, the MPS began the project – which is believed to be the largest rollout of BWV cameras by police anywhere in the world – last October, with devices eventually being issued to more than 22,000 frontline officers.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said the technology was a “huge step forward in bringing the capital’s police force into the 21st century and encouraging trust and confidence in community policing”.

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