Police awarded £800k to buy body cameras

Inspector Graham Bates with a body video camera
Inspector Graham Bates with a body video camera

Bedfordshire Police are increasing the number of officers wearing body-worn video cameras thanks to a Government grant.

Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins announced the cash will be used jointly by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire tri-force partnership to buy 1,179 units.

In May, the force rolled out 60 body-worn videos (BWVs).

Mr Martins said: “The cameras are proving popular with the public and police officers.

“The only people not too keen are the criminals being brought to justice due to the evidence provided.

“Local officers have told me that they are making a real difference in helping to secure prosecutions and defuse difficult situations.”

Forces using the videos say as well as helping solve crime, they have reduced the number of complaints against the police, and improved behaviour towards officers.

Mr Martins said the footage captured by the units will be accessible to authorised personnel via a secure network. The grant is part of a £4million Home Office fund handed to eight forces.

It comes just days after a HMIRC report said Bedfordshire Police is on track to make £20.8million in savings during its spending review period.

Mr Martins said in order to meet the Government savings targets, the force needs to invest in new technology, such as the BWVs and mobile devices to enable officers and Police Community Support Officers to spend more time on the streets.