The last of the Met’s borough Body Worn Video cameras have been issued to officers in Merton.
On Thursday, 31 August, Commander Neil Jerome met with Merton’s response team officers at Wimbledon Police Station to hand over the last of the 321 borough cameras.
Commander Neil Jerome, Territorial Police lead for Crime, Criminal Justice and Roads and Transport Policing, said: “Since the launch of the body worn camera trial in October 2016, the Met have handed out just over 17,500 cameras and we are on target of delivering 22,000 by the end of the year. It is a large and ambitious project which has helped boost public confidence and transparency.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Body Worn Video is a huge step forward in bringing our capital’s police force into the 21st century, and now every borough across our capital can benefit from it. We have already seen the difference this technology is making to officers, increasing accountability and helping to gather better evidence of swifter justice. With thousands of video clips now being submitted each month, the cameras are also helping to drive down complaints against officers and building trust and confidence in the city’s policing. Now the London-wide rollout is complete, Londoners can feel reassured during their interactions with the police and our officers can have confidence in the transparency of their actions, as they continue their great work on the frontline fighting crime and keeping our city safe.”
Superintendent Guy Collings, from Merton Borough, said: “Body worn video (BWV) will greatly assist us in the fight against crime and also to support victims. In addition, its use will help the Met to be more accountable.
“Experience of using cameras elsewhere across the country and the Met already shows that people are more likely to plead guilty when they know an incident has been captured on BWV. Video captures events in a way that can’t be represented on paper in the same detail and it has been shown the mere presence of this type of video can often defuse potentially violent situations without the need for force to be used. I believe it will also show how our officers deal with difficult and dangerous situations every day and provide clearer evidence when it’s been alleged that we got things wrong.”
Since August 2016, officers have recorded almost 800,000 videos, of which 500,000 have auto deleted from the system as per the Met’s policy on retention of footage.
The Met is the only UK police force digitally sharing BWV with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), with officers now routinely submitting more than 3,000 clips a month, leading to speedier justice and saving on time and the cost of officers burning and safely distributing around 6,000 discs.
The Met has been awarded the Surveillance Camera Commissioner's accreditation scheme. Greater Manchester Police are the only other UK force awarded this.
The Met has also been given a Directorate of Audit, Risk and Assurance (DARA) rating of 'substantive' following a MOPAC audit of Body Worn Video.