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Top cop backs bid to give officers body cam support

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 10, 2014

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THE top cop in South Derbyshire has welcomed plans which could soon see officers in the area wearing body cameras.

Nigel Lidsey, section inspector for Derby South, said that efforts by police and crime commissioner Alan Charles to secure funding for the devices would help ‘protect both the public and police officers’.

Several other forces across the county, including Staffordshire Police, are rolling out the cameras as part of a bid to make the work of the police more transparent.

Insp Lidsey said: “I really do think that this would be a great idea and welcome the move by the commissioner.

“It is a way of protecting the public and police officers and allowing others to get the best feel for a situation as a whole.

“For example, if an officer is in a crowd and people are angry, shouting and swearing, it can be hard for that to translate in the written word.

“The same can also be said for someone surrounded by a group of police officers, it is often to get a true feel for the situation.

“I think they will help drive down crime and help everyone involved.”

Mr Charles said a joint funding bid with Derbyshire police neighbouring forces has been applied for through the Home Office to pay for cameras.

He said: “The early indications are that body-worn video cameras do have a role to play in policing and have been found to be very effective on the street in calming down difficult situations when people who are misbehaving realise they are being filmed.

“They have also been found effective in domestic abuse situations, enabling officers to get an immediate recording of evidence.

“If we are to use body-worn cameras it should be in a co-ordinated manner across all police forces and to that end Derbyshire, with regional colleagues, has submitted a bid for funding to the Home Office Innovation Fund.”

The exact number of body cameras which could be distributed to officers in Derbyshire will depend on whether this bid is successful.

Around £100,000 has been spent to issue the equipment to all frontline officers in Staffordshire.

The cameras are the size of a mobile phone and clip on to police vests and can record video and sound.

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