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Last Updated: Monday, 11 June 2007, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Police launch head-camera scheme
Officers wearing head-cameras
Strathclyde Police said the scheme would help gather evidence
Police in the west of Scotland will don head-mounted cameras to help fight crime during a new pilot scheme.

Some Strathclyde Police officers will wear the gear for the next six months to document incidents.

Officers said the cameras would deter crime and disorder, gather evidence, provide corroboration and protection, and show openness and accountability.

The lightweight device, which is already operational south of the border, will not record continuously.

The cameras will record what an officer sees, hears and says, as well as providing additional prosecution evidence.

The device is overt and clearly visible and the officer involved will wear a badge clearly indicating it is being used.

The camera provides additional corroboration and protection for officers without restricting his or her actions or movements
Supt Iain Gordon

The project is supported by the area procurator fiscal.

Supt Iain Gordon, operational support, said: "We are continually looking at ways to develop and use suitable new technology that will benefit operational officers.

"The camera provides additional corroboration and protection for officers without restricting his or her actions or movements.

"It also acts as a visible deterrent to any potential assailant; making a clear statement that their actions will be recorded.

"Importantly, as it records the actions of the officer, it will increase accountability and reduce the scope for false allegations."

Officers from the mounted branch and those stationed on Mull have been chosen to trial the equipment.

Strict protocols

It was felt that the cameras would benefit officers working in specialised roles where their actions are subject to close scrutiny and in rural areas, where officers mainly work alone.

Supt Gordon added: "There are strict protocols and guidelines governing the use of the cameras.

"In line with standard protocols, any video image not required for evidential purposes will be destroyed after 31 days."

After six months, the devices may be rolled out to other specific officers.

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