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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 07:44 GMT
Police to use 'helmet cam'
A police helmet
Police say the cameras will not be used on routine patrols
Helmets housing concealed cameras are to be worn by police in Sussex.

The Sussex force says it intends to use '"helmet cam" only when there is an above average chance of crime - such as outside nightclubs at closing time.

The lens of the tiny camera will be hidden behind the badge on the helmet.

Inside, a transmitter will send the pictures back to a recorder in the officer's belt or in a nearby van

People who are outside pubs at kicking out time or leaving a football stadium at the end of a football match have every right to know what sort of technology is being used
Mark Littlewood, Liberty
Sussex Police say the camera will not be used on routine patrols but on occasions such as outside nightclubs or at football matches.

Robin Allaston, from Sussex Police, said: "It is a bit silly - a bit tongue in cheek.

"But I think the serious side of officers having support and having the ability to be backed up really out weighs that."

The police said the devices would be beneficial because they would be less confrontational than an ordinary camera in a crowd.

But civil rights groups do not like the idea of hidden cameras.

Mark Littlewood, from Liberty, said: "They should be completely straight and open with the citizens of Sussex that that is what they are doing.

"People who are outside pubs at kicking out time or leaving a football stadium at the end of a football match have every right to know what sort of technology is being used."




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