Body Worn Cameras Are Coming to Dorset
Dorset Police are issuing officers with audio and video recording devices in an effort to make police more accountable.
Body worn video (aka BWV/body cams) is a joint project between Dorset Police and Devon and Cornwall Police to equip officers with an audio and video recording device.
The aim is to eventually provide cameras to all operational front line officers.
This is in response to public expectations to make police more accountable for their actions.
The motivation for the implementation of these cameras has always been evidential. They will provide an unbiased record of what an officer has experienced.
The cameras will be used to record the majority of incidents and encounters, making the police more transparent and officers’ actions more accountable
Dorset Police operational lead, Superintendent Richard Bell, said: “All officers will receive training on the use of cameras and our legal responsibilities.
“The cameras will be docked and downloaded every shift, and files will be tagged for evidence.
“A large scale trial, involving 100 plus cameras at Bridport, Weymouth and Bournemouth is due to commence in summer 2016.”
Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner said, “Body worn videos increase the evidence gathering ability of the police, especially in domestic abuse and public order scenarios.
“Cameras can help diffuse difficult situations as people behave differently when told they are being filmed.
“The cameras also prove extremely useful for officers facing extreme violence and can be used to assist a court when an officer is assaulted. They can also be useful in the case of a complaint against police.
“Public surveys undertaken by me over 3 years have shown consistent support from the public in introducing this tactic to the policing of Dorset.
“Body worn videos are a win-win scenario for the police, the victim and the courts.”