Police to wear body cameras

New Chief Constsble of West Yorkshire Police Mark Gilmore
New Chief Constsble of West Yorkshire Police Mark Gilmore

Hundreds of West Yorkshire police officers will be fitted with cameras in a bid to improve public confidence in the force.

The move, announced by police last week, is part of a research project with Cambridge University and will see 160 body-worn cameras used by a number of different front-line response officers when called out to incidents.

Head cameras are already used occasionally by officers investigating domestic violence but the new technology, which will be in place from this month, will be used much more widely.

West Yorkshire Chief Constable Mark Gilmore said: “West Yorkshire Police completely supports the need for independent scrutiny around stop and search, so the public can be reassured about any concerns they may have.

“Information will be directly input onto a computer system, ensuring we have a full record which both supervisors and independent public scrutiny panels can access.

“It also avoids lengthy form filling at a scene and reduces inconvenience to the public and officers.

“There are numerous other benefits, including the gathering of indisputable evidence at source, to better deliver for victims within the criminal justice process, helping to manage hostile individuals who usually stop being hostile when they are on camera, and to support the public or officers where there are allegations of inappropriate behaviour.”

Police bosses will assess how well the cameras work in providing data before deciding whether to introduce the devices on a permanent basis around the county.