MPS to issue latest BWV cameras to frontline officers

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is to issue body-worn video (BWV) cameras to all frontline officers following the world’s largest-ever trial of the technology.

Nov 25, 2015
By Paul Jacques

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is to issue body-worn video (BWV) cameras to all frontline officers following the world’s largest-ever trial of the technology.

Led by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), the MPS completed a successful 12-month pilot earlier this year using 1,000 Axon BWV cameras from Taser International, combined with the company’s digital evidence management platform.

MPS Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan Howe said: “I’m delighted that we will be able to press ahead with the rollout of this technology. For too long our equipment has lagged behind the technology almost everyone has in their pockets to capture events as they unfold.

“Soon, more of our officers will be able to make a record of the very challenging circumstances they are asked to deal with on a daily basis and then demonstrate, more effectively, the reality of policing our capital.”

A research study conducted by MOPAC and the College of Policing during the pilot found that introducing the cameras resulted in a 33 per cent reduction in complaints against officers.

Around 22,000 officers are expected to be issued with cameras, although Taser said final contract details were still being negotiated.

“This is a hugely exciting moment for both Taser and its Axon technology platform,” said Taser chief executive officer and founder Rick Smith.

“We’re driving a global trend toward smarter, more transparent policing and we’re beyond thrilled to be pushing new boundaries forward with one of the largest and most well respected police forces in the world.

“Our Axon platform is now the most widely used body camera and digital evidence management solution in law enforcement, providing new and innovative ways to maximise officer safety while enhancing the level of trust of citizens through the collection of video evidence.”

Given the scale and complexity of the anticipated contract, Taser does not expect to issue any additional information until it releases financial results for the year 2015 in February 2016.

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