MPS rollout of 22,000 BWV cameras nears completion
More than 2,000 additional officers at the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have been equipped with body-worn video (BWV) cameras as the largest rollout of the devices by police anywhere in the world nears completion.
More than 2,000 additional officers at the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have been equipped with body-worn video (BWV) cameras as the largest rollout of the devices by police anywhere in the world nears completion. Four hundred and eighty frontline police officers and police community support officers in Waltham Forest have now been issued with cameras, 490 in Wandsworth, 500 in Haringey and 598 in Newham. Around 200 dog handlers who are public facing officers working as part of the MPSs Taskforce are also being issued with BWV. The remaining Taskforce operational officers will be equipped with cameras within the next few weeks this includes the marine policing unit, mounted branch and the ANPR (automatic numberplate recognition) units. It follows the recent rollout of 1,300 cameras to officers in the MPSs new East Area Command. Cameras are being issued to all 32 London boroughs and a number of frontline specialist roles, including overt firearms officers. The MPS says the deployment of all 22,000 cameras is anticipated to be complete this summer. The cameras have already shown they can help bring speedier justice for victims, says the force, and they have proved particularly successful in domestic abuse cases, where there has been an increase in earlier guilty pleas from offenders who know their actions have been recorded. The MPS says BWV offers greater transparency for those in front of the camera as well as those behind it. Londoners can feel reassured during their interactions with the police, while BWV will also help officers gather evidence and demonstrate their professionalism in the face of the many challenges involved in policing the capital, it added. Chief Inspector Lisa Butterfield, Waltham Forests BWV lead, said the cameras will be an invaluable piece of equipment for frontline officers and investigators. The cameras will capture compelling first-hand images to back up officers evidence in court. It has been proven in trials to increase conviction rates and help the courts give more informed sentencing, she added. From an officers point of view, the cameras help to reduce confrontation and complaints against them, as well as helping to demonstrate the professionalism we all expect. The equipment and accompanying software is secure and all downloaded data is handled in a strict, professional manner. Chief Inspector Jude Beehag-Fisher, Haringeys BWV lead, said the cameras were an important addition to the equipment provided to frontline officers, adding that it is an invaluable tool to combat crime and one that will support both officers and the public. In addition to the cameras, we also have first class accompanying software to manage all data downloaded from the camera in a secure, systematic and professional manner, said Chief Insp Beehag-Fisher. It is fully integrated with existing Met crime reporting methods and procedures for conveying evidence from the scene into the evidential chain for admission at court. Its use is proven in increasing conviction rates, reducing confrontation and complaints against police officers and informing sentencing decisions at court. It can sometimes be difficult to articulate what officers have witnessed, however, with both an audio and visual capability, the footage it captures at a scene will provide a compelling addition to the evidence we are able to present.