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Met Police issues 22K body worn video cameras to frontline officers

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Today, Monday, 17 October, will see the start of a large scale deployment of Body Worn Video (BWV) which is being issued to over 22,000 Met frontline officers.

The Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was joined in Lewisham by the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to witness the rollout of the cameras, which follows a successful trial and wide-ranging public consultation and academic evaluation.

Over the coming months, cameras will be issued to all 32 boroughs and a number of frontline specialist roles, including overt firearms officers.

The cameras have already shown that they can help bring about speedier justice for victims.

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This has 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 technology offers greater transparency for those in front of the camera as well as behind it. Londoners can feel reassured during their interactions with the police, whilst allowing us to demonstrate the professionalism of our officers in the many challenging and contentious interactions, such as the use of stop and search.

All footage recorded on BWV is subject to legal safeguards and guidance. The footage from the Axon Body 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, data protection laws. It must be within 31 days, unless it has been marked as policing evidence and therefore retained.

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

Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said: “Body Worn Video will support our officers in the many challenging situations they have to deal with, at the same time as building the public’s confidence.

“What we do every day will be seen by the public – that has to be good!

“Our experience of using cameras already shows that people are more likely to plead guilty when they know we have captured the incident on a camera. That then speeds up justice, puts offenders behind bars more quickly and most importantly protects potential victims.

“Video captures events in a way that can’t be represented on paper in the same detail, a picture paints a thousand words, and it has been shown the mere presence of this type of video can often defuse potentially violent situations without the need for force to be used.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, said: “Body Worn Video is a huge step forward in bringing our capital’s police force into the 21st century and encouraging trust and confidence in community policing. This technology is already helping drive down complaints against officers and making them more accountable, as well as helping to gather better evidence for swifter justice. As we roll them out across London, these cameras will make a real difference to officers, as they continue their great work on the frontline fighting crime and keeping our city safe.”

Managing Director of Axon Public Safety UK, Matt Spencer, said: “We’re thrilled to be working alongside the Metropolitan Police Service to ensure a successful body camera rollout.

“By utilising the Axon network, MPS will be taking advantage of cutting-edge technology that will help them take on the challenges of 21st century policing.”

The deployment of all 22,000 cameras will be managed in a phased approached and is anticipated to be complete by next summer.

In November 2015. the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), following a successful trial awarded a three-year contract worth £3.4 million to Axon Public Safety UK Limited, to supply the MPS with 22,000 cameras.

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Trev Sherwood is the founder & blogger at the UK’s Leading Crime & Policing News. Delivering you breaking news, insightful analysis, legislation & positive news!

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10k cases could be affected ‘tampered samples which include rape and murder convictions in forensic data manipulation.

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More than 10,099 cases may have been affected by alleged data manipulation by individuals working at a Randox Testing Services forensics laboratory in Manchester.

These include thousands of toxicology samples some of these include samples used to secure rape and murder convictions

It is believed these have been tampered with and could no longer be considered reliable.

Many rape and murder convictions could now be overturned.

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Gaia Pope no injuries to suggest any other person was involved in her death

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Dorest Police have confirmed that they do not believe another person was invloved within 19-year-old Gaia Pope’s death.

Those arrestes on suspiscion of her murder have been released from police custody but remain under police investigation.

At around 3pm yesterday, Saturday 18 November 2017, specialist search teams discovered the body of a woman near the coastal path and the field where items of her clothing were located on Thursday 16 November near Swanage.

Although the body has yet to be formally identified, officers are confident that it is Gaia and her family is being supported by specially-trained officers.

Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “The post-mortem examination has not identified any injuries to suggest any other person was involved in her death. The cause of death is undetermined pending toxicology.

“The coroner is involved in the oversight of these examinations but at this time this remains an investigation into an unexplained death.

“We would like to take this further opportunity to pass our thoughts to Gaia’s family who we continue to support and who ask for respect of their privacy at this incredibly stressful time.

“Once again I would like to pass our thanks to the public volunteers and partner organisations who have supported this inquiry throughout and have been material in locating Gaia.

“The area where the body was located is likely to remain cordoned off for some time while forensic examinations and searches are concluded.

“Please can I ask that the public no longer attend to assist with searches and that they remain a safe distance from the location. I reiterate this area is steep and slippery in an exposed area close to sea cliffs. The area is covered in dense undergrowth and gorse and can present a hazard. Only specially-trained search and forensic teams are entering the area, assisted by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service recovery teams.”

Gaia’s family is issuing their thanks to the Find Gaia volunteer group for all their hard work and unwavering support.

Two men aged 19 and 49 and a 71-year-old woman, all from Swanage and known to Gaia, were arrested on suspicion of murder earlier this week and have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

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We want to help you but we know you don’t like us being involved

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We know you follow this account and want you to see this, We’ve told you previously that we think you are at risk of domestic abuse from your partner. We know you follow this account and we want you to see this.

Lochaber & Skye Police have penned an emotional letter addressed to ‘a young woman in Skye”.

The official Police Scotland account won the best tweeting police account at the UK-wide Police Tweet Awards in 2016 and could just take the 2017 title as next week.

They went on to say “We want to help you and are doing lots with other agencies to try and keep you safe.

“You might not see us, you might not even like us being involved but we are always thinking about how we can help you.”

“Your family and friends have told you they think you are in danger they support you and want you to be safe”.

“We think he’s probably told you, “it won’t happen again”, “I’m sorry”, “I’ll change”, he’s maybe even told you that it’s your fault – IT’S NOT.”

“The violence, threats, degrading comments and controlling behaviour are not the life you need to lead, it can be better.”

“You are not trapped and you are not alone, we can help you get out, your family and friends can help you get out and Scot Women’s Aid can help you get out.

Call us, come to the Police Station, phone someone, speak to local Women’s Aid worker on 01478613365 or 08000271234.”

“There is no excuse for domestic abuse, help is out there.”

Lochaber & Skye Police then went on to thank everyone for the positive response to the domestic abuse appeal.

They told everyone that the meaning behind it was to “reach-out to anyone who may be at risk”.

Hopefully, by sharing this another young lady, lady or even young man or man could be helped from harm.

 

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