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Police carry cameras to cut crime and red tape

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

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BURTON bobbies will be issued with body cameras in a bid to cut crime and modernise Staffordshire Police.

The cameras, which clip onto police vests and are the size of a mobile phone, will cost £207,000

Matthew Ellis, police and crime commisoner for Staffordshire, said the technology, which, will be issued to all frontline police officers and special constables.

He told the Mail: “We need to get up to date with technology.

“The cameras have worked well in trials with officers and at the same time we have looked at special constables having them as well because there is no reason why they should not have them.

“There is a feeling special constable’s get the second best equipment even though they do the same job.”

Mr Ellis said the cameras would digitalise evidence gathering, give officers added protection and reduce bureaucracy.

He said: “There is nothing like seeing what happened rather than a written account.

“It will knock hundreds of hours off police time off the evidence gathering process because you will have everything you need in digital format.

“Instead they will be able to spend more time on frontline duties.

“Trials show that the cameras give officers additional protection when people realise they are being filmed.”

Staffordshire Police must cut £34 million from its budget by 2015 due to Government cuts.

But Mr Ellis said the cameras would reduce overall costs.

He said: “For £200,000 it will pay for itself many times over and speed up the criminal justice process.

“It is about investing the right money to save it in the long run.

“There will be fewer police officers but they will be doing proper policing which will mean there will be more police out on the street.”

Mr Ellis added PCSOs could also be issued with the cameras.

He said: “PCSOs have different responsibilities and a different approach to the public so we have to take that into account.”

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