Getting Caught on Camera

CRIMINALS tempted to commit crime will now face their actions being caught on camera as Hertfordshire Constabulary launches body worn cameras for its Intervention officers across the county.

The cameras, funded by the Home Office, have been issued to teams across the county. They capture the live action, sights and sounds of an incident. Unlike other types of camera, these are worn on the body allowing officers to maintain unhindered use of both their hands and their peripheral senses while still recording an incident.

"These video cameras are an extremely useful addition to the police officer's toolkit," commented Operations Inspector Gary Taylor, who is managing the introduction of the cameras. "Whilst they don't replace the more traditional methods of gathering evidence, they offer an enhanced level of service for the court, victims and officers themselves. A video recording can capture compelling evidence, enabling the raw emotion and action to be replayed in the courts to help people better understand an incident."

Other forces across the country are using these new high-tech devices, and have found them particularly useful with domestic violence, anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related offences.

Gary added: "The cameras could also help to save police time spent in court, as people have been more likely to plead guilty to an offence at an earlier stage once they know there is hard evidence on video of their actions. They may also help to deter certain types of crime, like anti-social behaviour, as people tend to amend their behaviour once they know they're on police cameras".

These cameras will be used by officers only when responding to specific incidents, not simply when they are on patrol. The officer will announce they are filming to those present.

Gary concluded: "Hopefully this new technology will help us to offer an even better service to Hertfordshire residents and will help to keep the county a safe and pleasant place to be."

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