Body Worn Video launched in Tower Hamlets

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Officers from Tower Hamlets will take to the streets
this week wearing Body Worn Video (BWV), following the
borough’s official launch on Monday, 22 May.

The BWV is being issued to around 560 of Tower Hamlets’
frontline police officers and Police Community Support Officers
(PCSOs) – additional cameras will also be available for
specialist departments.

The cameras have already shown they can help bring speedier
justice for victims. They have proved particularly successful
in domestic abuse cases where there has been an increase in
earlier guilty pleas from offenders who know their actions have
been recorded.

The equipment will offer greater transparency for those in
front of the camera as well as those behind it. Londoners can
feel reassured during their interactions with the police,
whilst BWV will also help officers gather evidence and
demonstrate their professionalism in the face of the many
challenges involved in policing the Capital.

All footage recorded on BWV is subject to legal safeguards and
guidance. The footage from the camera is automatically uploaded
to secure servers once the device has been docked and flagged
for use as evidence at court or other proceedings. Video not
retained as evidence or for a policing purpose is automatically
deleted within 31 days.

If the public wish to view footage taken of them they can
request, in writing, to obtain it under freedom of information
and data protection laws. The request must be within 31 days of
the incident unless it has been marked as police evidence and
therefore retained.

The cameras are worn attached to the officer’s uniform and do
not permanently record. This ensures interactions with the
public are not unnecessarily impeded. Members of the public are
told as soon as practical that they are being recorded. When
the camera is recording, it is highly visible with a flashing
red circle in the centre of the camera and a frequent beeping
noise when it’s activated.

Chief Superintendent Sue Williams, Borough commander
for Tower Hamlets, said:
“I am delighted that we now
have Body Worn Video for all my officers. I am convinced this
will enhance our effectiveness in dealing with incidents and
protecting the integrity of investigations. We see this as a
vital tool in our efforts to reduce crime and anti-social
behaviour in Tower Hamlets and to make this a safer place.
Ultimately this will increase confidence in policing.

“It is fully integrated with existing Met crime reporting
methods and procedures for conveying evidence from scene into
the evidential chain for admission at court. Its use is proven
in increasing conviction rates, reducing confrontation and
complaints against police officers.

“This will hopefully lead to increased confidence and
satisfaction within our communities. A similar concept was
trialled here a few years ago and it contributed greatly to
enhancing evidence in support of vulnerable victims of

Over the coming months cameras will be issued to all 32 London
boroughs and a number of frontline specialist roles, including
overt firearms officers. The deployment of all 22,000 cameras
will be managed in a phased approach and is anticipated to be
complete by the summer.

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