The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has confirmed plans to equip all neighbourhood and response officers across the Metropolitan police with Body Worn Video cameras.
This would involve a potential 20,000 police body cameras across the Met ‘to help them fight crime and boost public confidence.’
Mr Johnson says ‘The move will make the new technology available to more officers in a single city than anywhere else in the world to date.’
The roll-out will follow a procurement and the completion of the Met’s formal trial ending this summer.
In trials the cameras have shown their potential to reduce complaints and increase the number of early guilty pleas, helping to speed up the justice process.
The Mayor has explained that the investment is financially viable through funds raised through the sale of underutilised police buildings.
The top 10 sales alone, including the £370 million disposal of the New Scotland Yard site in Victoria, have raised £661million so far for reinvestment in frontline policing.
Speaking to the London Assembly today, Boris Johnson, said:
This is exciting technology that will build trust, help the police do their jobs, and allow the public to hold officers more accountable. Our plans for the roll-out of Body Worn Video will make the technology available to more officers in a single city than anywhere else in the world and is a giant step towards a truly 21st century police force for London.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said:
I’m delighted that we will be able to press ahead with the roll-out of this technology. For too long our equipment has lagged behind the technology almost everyone has in their pockets to capture events as they unfold. Soon, more of our officers will be able to make a record of the very challenging circumstances they are asked to deal with on a daily basis and then demonstrate, more effectively, the reality of policing our capital. It will also improve public scrutiny of how we carry out our role. That is a vital part of being an accountable police officer. It is also an essential tool in gathering evidence of offences.