Local police now wearing ‘body cams’

Caught on camera .. the new body worn video camera.
Caught on camera .. the new body worn video camera.

Police officers across Antrim and Newtownabbey District will be using body worn video cameras when they are on duty from this week, it has emerged.

The ‘bodycams’ have been trialled elsewhere in Northern Ireland and have proved a success in gathering evidence to put before the courts.

Superintendent Emma Bond explains: “We continuously strive to identify new ways to support the delivery of effective front-line policing. This includes the use of new and emerging technological solutions

“The pilot of this technology in Derry City and Strabane evidenced how Body Worn Video has the potential to improve the quality of evidence provided by police officers and thereby increase the number of offenders brought to justice. Video evidence provides a compelling account of events and enables the raw emotion and action from a scene to be replayed in the courts in a manner that could never be captured in a witness statement.

“It also supports accountability and transparency, both of which are key elements in increasing public confidence in policing. The introduction of this new technology is the latest example of our commitment to these principles as we continue to work together with the community to keep people safe.

“Police officers and staff have received bespoke training from our Information and Communications Services colleagues on how to use the cameras and the supporting technology. This ensures that the integrity of any recorded footage is protected while making it as easy as possible to access and utilise this material when preparing files for use in a prosecution.”

The Chairman of Antrim and Newtownabbey Police and Community Safety Partnership has welcomed the implementation of the new body camera procedures.

Ulster Unionist Councillor Paul Michael said the new body camera will assist the police in their role, keeping people safe and bringing the perpetrators of crimes before the courts.

Cll.r Michael said body cameras have been used by other forces across the world and are a welcome asset for the PSNI.