More officers across Dorset are taking in part in a trial of body worn cameras

12 December 2016, 09:33

Bournemouth have been using them since last month, now team in Blandford are using them from today.

More officers across Dorset are taking in part in a trial of body worn cameras.

Bournemouth have been using the devices since last month and now a team in Blandford are using them from today.

Bridport is getting them in the New Year.

Body Worn Video is a joint initiative between Dorset Police in alliance with Devon & Cornwall Police. It is a supportive tool for officers to enhance evidence gathering and assist in the swift and fair administration of justice.

Police Officers in Bournemouth have been using the devices since 9 November 2016.

The pilot cameras are being rolled out to selected officers in phases across three Dorset stations. Phase one started with Bournemouth, continues into Blandford today, with the third and final phase of the pilot scheduled to begin in Bridport in the New Year.

The ‘Your Dorset. Your View’ survey carried out across Dorset in 2015 showed overwhelming support from Dorset residents for the use of Body Worn Video.

75% of respondents felt that Body Worn Video would improve their trust and confidence in Dorset Police, and 89% of participants supported the use of the technology, believing that footage would be helpful evidence to convict criminals.

Dorset Police operational lead, Chief Inspector Richard Bell, said: "The use of Body Worn Video by police forces in England and Wales has increased in recent years. It is a piece of equipment that is likely to be used more frequently in general policing.

Footage from Body Worn Video devices is recognised and accepted throughout the legal process and it is acknowledged that video can accelerate the judicial process, by speeding up prosecutions and encouraging early guilty pleas.

Colin Pipe, Acting Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner said: “The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has undertaken a number of surveys over the past three years which have consistently shown that the public support introducing this deployable asset to policing in Dorset.

“Body worn cameras will help to increase the evidence gathering ability of officers, especially in domestic abuse and public order scenarios and the technology is a win-win scenario for the police, victims of crime and the courts.”

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