Police Forces Have Inconsistant Rules On Bodycam Use


After the family of former Aston Villa player Dalian Atkinson called for officers with tasers to wear bodycams,  a survey's found a lack of constitency across police forces.

The 48-year-old died last month after being tasered by police in Telford.

Two officers now face a criminal investigation.

The ex-Aston Villa player's nephew, Fabian Atkinson, has called for Taser officers to wear bodycams as standard.

He said: ``If they have a weapon and they're going to discharge that weapon, then they need a camera to record that.''

A survey of forces have found some have no body cams while others give them to all frontline officers.

Local reaction:

West Midlands Police

Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Todd said: ``The force is currently in the process of issuing body-worn video to all 1,261 response officers.

``Other teams may be given BWV at a later stage, although there are no fixed plans for this at this time.''

Regarding the use of BWV by Taser-trained officers, Mr Todd added: ``West Midlands Police has 437 officers trained in the use of Taser. A large number - but not all - are response officers.

``The force is currently in the process of issuing BWV to all response officers.''

Staffordshire Police

Chief Inspector Neil Hulme, the force's lead on body-worn video, said: ``Body-worn video (BWV) is very effective, it captures events as they happen, often defuses potentially violent situations and provides speedier justice for victims as offenders are more likely to plead guilty.

``BWV has been rolled out to all uniformed officers within Staffordshire Police, including those who are Taser-trained.

``The devices are not personal issue but are used on a pool basis, with uniformed staff taking priority. We have in the region of 550 cameras.''

West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police

Assistant Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said: ``West Mercia Police is committed to the routine use of video recording devices by officers on patrol.

``We are running a project currently to establish the best option available to ensure a complete solution that will operate to an evidential standard and allow us to share this evidence with criminal justice partners such as the Crown Prosecution Service.

``Whilst currently we do not routinely use BWV, officers have access to an interim solution which can be used in a similar way.

``It is our intention to find a single solution that meets the needs of patrol officers as well as those who perform specialist roles, including those who routinely carry Taser.

``We are fully aware of National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) guidance on this subject and are working with the national leads for BWV, Taser, pursuit and armed policing.''