Hampshire Constabulary Chief Constable has welcomed body worn video funding from government which could see Andover Police wearing the small personal cameras.
Hampshire Constabulary Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “This funding keeps Hampshire and the Isle of Wight at the cutting edge of body-worn video technology – not just in Britain – but anywhere in the world.”
“As well as being very welcome news – this commitment by Government is recognition of the massive benefit body-worn video offers in terms of building trust with the public – and having an accurate and verifiable digital record of the evidence.”
“It is my intention – both as Chief Constable for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – and in my new national role – to work with those other forces who are leading the way to make body-worn video something that the public continues to support – and is available to every uniformed police officer.”
Chief Constable Andy Marsh was recently appointed national policing lead in England and Wales for body-worn video for the College of Policing and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
Body-worn video devices are visible cameras attached to the chest of an officer or PCSO. They can record video and audio evidence for a policing purpose.
Hampshire Police have more than 450 cameras being used across the county at the moment, including 180 that are personally issued to officers and PCSOs on the Isle of Wight as part of a specific one-year project until the summer of 2014.
They are working with experienced independent researchers from University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, which can evaluate the personal-issue project on the Isle of Wight impartially. ‘Personal issue’ means one camera is assigned to one specific officer or PCSO.
Hampshire Constabulary is working in partnership with ‘Reveal Media’ – an approved supplier of these cameras to the force since 2008.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, police forces have a duty to inform a person that their actions are being recorded on Body Worn Video for evidence in support of criminal prosecutions. This can be done by the officer stating clearly when a recording starts, or it can be as simple as the camera being obviously visible to a person being recorded.
The BWV footage is stored securely using software specifically designed for police use. The footage is stored in line with guidance from the Home Office as well as legislation including the:
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- Human Rights Act 1998
Footage that is used as evidence will be available to the defence and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in any criminal proceedings that take place. Non-evidential footage will be deleted after 31 days.