/ GMP starts body-worn camera roll out

GMP officers have started wearing video cameras on their uniforms.

Officers in Trafford were the first to be given the new devices last week to enhance evidence gathering and help the Force to meet the demands it is facing both now and in the future.

Body-worn video cameras have already been trialled in Manchester and around 3,000 frontline officers across the Force will now be issued with them over the rest of 2016.

The cameras have a light that flashes whenever they are active and officers will have to turn the camera on at appropriate times and for certain incidents, such as those that are domestic abuse related and during stop and search.

Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: “Body cams are a valuable evidential tool during cases while victims of domestic abuse have been saved from giving evidence because of the footage provided.

“This roll out has been part of our plans to improve the service that we provide to the public since summer 2013 and since then we have had 80 cameras active amongst our response teams in Manchester on a trial basis, to test their effectiveness and their practical use day-to-day.

“Other Forces have seen, as well as assisting with cases, an increased confidence in policing when cameras were worn by officers, something that we hope will be echoed in Greater Manchester and will lead to a greater understanding of victims’ needs.”

Cameras will be given to officers in the neighbourhood teams, the Hostage and Crisis Negotiation Unit, Roads Policing and Intercept Unit, Tactical Aid Unit, Tactical Dog Unit and some at the airport.

Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “The challenges of modern day policing demand we embrace new technology which is why I asked GMP to develop plans to introduce body-worn videos for all frontline officers. I’m very pleased this technology will soon be seen on our streets.

“It’s already been shown that the use of body-worn video captures vital evidence, makes officers feel safer, increases public confidence in the police and improves the victim’s journey. It’s good news for the public and police officers.”

Officers will pick up their camera at the start of every shift, with any footage automatically downloaded on their return at the end of the day. Footage will be stored for 31 days unless required for evidence, in which case it can be saved for as long as required.

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