17 September 2014, 12:26
Kent Police officers in key areas of the county are to be given an extra tool in the fight against crime.
This is the statement from Kent Police
On Wednesday 17 September, Body Worn Video (BWV) will be used by Local District Policing Teams in Maidstone, Medway and Thanet as part of a 'live test' phase prior to a wider rollout across the force towards the end of this year and into 2015.
The state-of-the-art cameras will be used to help officers capture evidence from the scene of an incident and can record high-definition footage, take pictures and record sound. They will become a useful additional piece of equipment for officers as they continue to make Kent a safe place to live and visit.
In particular, it is hoped BWV will play a key role in domestic abuse offences and night time economy incidents.
In total, approximately 430 officers will be using the cameras by 15 October.
Deputy Chief Constable of Kent Police Paul Brandon said: "BWV is a technological innovation which has been shown to have some very clear and tangible benefits to police forces.
"It has the capability to capture real-time evidence, offering the potential to move the justice process forward with reduced stress for victims of crime.
"Forces who use BWV already have seen an increase in early guilty pleas as defendants are shown irrefutable evidence and they have seen a reduction in offending behaviour resulting in better safety for members of the public and officers.
"We owe it to the victims of crime to use all lawful investigative techniques available to us and BWV will become an invaluable asset for officers as they deliver a first class service to the people of Kent."
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes has helped fund the introduction of BWV to Maidstone, Medway and Thanet.
She said: "I am very pleased that the cameras are being tested in Kent and from what other forces are telling us I can see that there are benefits all round. They provide what can be essential evidence from the officer who is first at an incident and increase the number of offenders who admit guilt at an early stage when confronted by their behaviour on the screen.
"I am confident that the cameras will bring a real difference for our front-line officers. Not only do they modify offender behaviour at an incident, they can also influence officer behaviour and - just as important - protect our officers from unwarranted complaints."