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Police to wear video cameras 'to improve quality of evidence'

Published 29/02/2016

The Police Service of Northern Ireland believe the new technology will improve the quality of evidence
The Police Service of Northern Ireland believe the new technology will improve the quality of evidence

Front line police officers across Northern Ireland will wear video cameras to improve accountability, the PSNI said.

The technology will boost outcomes for victims of crime and produce speedier justice, the force added.

Assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton said it could increase the quality of evidence provided by officers and the proportion of offenders brought to justice.

"Video evidence provides a compelling account of activities of suspects and enables the raw emotion and action from a scene to be replayed in the courts in a manner that could never be captured in a witness statement."

A supplier, Edesix, has been appointed and the technology will be introduced on a phased basis across the organisation over coming months. The step has already been trialled.

Mr Hamilton added: "We were keen to establish what benefits this technology would bring in terms of supporting accountability, improving outcomes for victims of crime and streamlining criminal justice processes to produce speedier justice.

"The pilot evidenced how body worn video has the potential to improve the quality of evidence provided by police officers and thereby increase the proportion of offences brought to justice."

Richie McBride, Edesix managing director, said t he benefits have been widely recognised.

"Body worn video can be used to support the delivery of a transparent, accountable police service, from the perspective of both police officers and of the communities they serve.

"As a result, the technology is being actively used by a number of police services across the world."

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