Top officer backing police cameras
A senior police commander has said body-worn cameras could significantly boost evidence gathering and help defuse confrontations.
Comments from officers trialling the technology have been favourable, temporary assistant chief constable Chris Noble said.
Significant investment would be required in the computer network to use it across the PSNI.
ACC Noble said: "Initial feedback from officers and partners in the criminal justice system has been very positive and suggests that the technology could realise significant benefits in terms of evidence gathering and defusing confrontations."
The equipment has been piloted in Strabane, Derry, Limavady and Magherafelt - and trials are likely to be complete next month.
Data will be examined in partnership with experts from Cambridge University and a business case made for expansion.
ACC Noble noted: "The pilot has also established that a significant investment would be required in our computer network capability to roll out this technology across the service."
He added: "The PSNI is constantly looking to identify new processes to assist with effective front line policing and supporting some of the most vulnerable victims."
The PSNI owns or operates 98 body worn camera kits, according to a Freedom of Information request. The approximate cost including operating equipment is £88,827.
The technology is something the Policing Board has called for and supported for a number of years, particularly for evidence gathering at crime scenes.
The Board's 2009 Human Rights Thematic Review on Domestic Abuse recognised the benefits of using such equipment, particularly when recording evidence to support prosecution and court cases.
Board member Jonathan Craig said: "I welcome the very positive feedback from the pilot scheme, including from officers using the technology and also criminal justice partners in relation to quality of footage that has been made available for cases going forward to court for prosecution.
"This clearly shows the use of such kit can be of benefit to both officers and victims by providing vital evidence of crimes."