BWV cameras are being issued to around 250 of Richmond's public facing police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) following the launch in the borough on Monday (August 7).
According to the Metropolitan Police, the cameras have already proved successful in domestic abuse cases where there has been an increase in earlier guilty pleas from offenders who know they have been recorded on camera.
Sergeant Simon Whitlock, Richmond's BWV roll-out lead, said: "Body Worn Video is an important addition to the equipment we provide to our officers; it is an invaluable tool to combat crime and one that will make Richmond safer and support both officers and the public.
"In addition to the cameras, we also have first class accompanying software to manage all data downloaded from the camera in a secure, systematic and professional manner.
"It is fully integrated with existing Met crime reporting methods and procedures for conveying evidence from the scene into the evidential chain for admission at court.
"Its use is proven in increasing conviction rates, reducing confrontation and complaints against police officers and informing sentencing decisions at court.
"It can sometimes be difficult to articulate what officers have witnessed, however with both an audio and visual capability, the footage it captures at a scene will provide a compelling addition to the evidence we are able to present.
"Body Worn Video will provide further reassurance to the communities in Richmond of our enhanced ability to support victims of crime and directly record criminal behaviour and its consequences."
The Metropolitan Police believe the equipment will offer greater transparency for those in front of the camera as well as behind it.
All footage recorded on BWV is subject to legal safeguards and guidance.
Footage is automatically deleted within 31 days, unless it is being kept as evidence or for a policing purpose.
Any member of the public who may wish to view footage taken of them can write a request to obtain it within 31 days of the incident, unless it has already been marked as police evidence.
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