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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 August 2007, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Beat officers to use head cameras
Policeman wearing the head camera
Beat officers in Cambridgeshire will use head cameras
Beat officers in Cambridgeshire will use head-mounted video cameras to help in the fight against crime.

The move comes after police officers in Essex used the devices on the beat earlier this year to record evidence of people causing trouble.

The tiny 1,800 cameras, each the size of an AA battery, will be fitted onto the side of the officers' headgear.

Police say the clearly visible cameras will act as a deterrent as well as an aid to gathering evidence.

A Cambridgeshire police spokeswoman said: "Having head cameras at our disposal would undoubtedly be welcomed by officers in Cambridge and the surrounding area.

This can only be an advantage to officers - and potentially the courts - when examining the circumstances of an incident
Cambs police spokeswoman

"It would give us considerable advantages in the detection and prevention of crime, as well as evidential benefits.

"By seeing an incident filmed from the viewpoint of an officer on the ground it may be possible to detect the attitude of those involved and how co-operative they are.

"This can only be an advantage to officers - and potentially the courts - when examining the circumstances of an incident."

Increase in arrests

The cameras have enough memory to record an officer's full patrol and footage is downloaded on a computer.

The video images can be used in court as evidence to support a prosecution, or in support of an application for an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo).

Helmet cameras have already been trialled by forces in Wales, Sussex, the London borough of Haringey, Northampton, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

Officers in Plymouth said the cameras led to an 85% increase in arrests for violent crime.




SEE ALSO
'Head cams' used to fight crime
10 Aug 06 |  Northamptonshire
Headcams 'should make town safer'
15 Aug 06 |  Staffordshire
Aberdeen police to wear headcams
07 Dec 05 |  Scotland
Helmet cameras to capture crime
29 Jul 05 |  Berkshire

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