Norfolk and Suffolk Police are announcing a phased roll-out of body worn cameras for frontline officers which is planned to begin in 2017.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Mike Fawcett, programme lead for body worn cameras for both forces, said: “We are always looking to ways to further improve the public’s trust in community policing. Cameras offer greater transparency for those in front of the camera as well as behind it. Our officers often have to work in challenging situations and the use of body-worn video cameras can be a valuable tool in supporting them whilst building the public’s confidence.
“Use of cameras elsewhere has already shown that they can help bring about speedier justice for victims, and have been particularly successful in domestic abuse cases, where there has been an increase in guilty pleas from offenders who know their actions have been recorded.
“The cameras will be attached to officers’ uniforms and will not be permanently recording. Members of the public will be told as soon as practicable that they are being recorded, and when the camera is recording it is very obvious – marked by a flashing red circle in the centre of the camera and a frequent beeping noise when it is activated.”
A dedicated programme team will work across both counties to introduce the equipment in a staged role out, planned for the second quarter of 2017.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Anything that improves the public’s trust and confidence in the Constabulary and makes life on the streets safer for our police officers has my full support.
“My police and crime plan specifically refers to my commitment to officers and staff. I want to be sure they have the equipment, training and resources to enable them to perform their roles; the Chief Constable and I are united in this commitment.”
Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green said: “I have delivered what I said I would deliver. I listened to officers and spent time on the frontline, seeing the challenges they face and the demands on them. Our police must have the modern technology they need to fight the crime types affecting Norfolk today.
“This is great news and an important investment in our police. Together with the replacement of old computers for our officers and staff which I signed off just last month, we are making good progress.”