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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 March 2006, 16:58 GMT
Police use anti-yob head cameras
Community beat manager Paul Davies with the new camera system
Community beat manager Paul Davies with the new camera system
Police in Wrexham are the first in Wales to be issued with lightweight head cameras to try to tackle troublemakers.

The hi-tech gadgets can be strapped to officers' heads and feed images to digital recorders on their belts.

The portable systems can store hundreds of hours of material and provide instant playback on a small screen.

Police say the cameras, which can also fit on car visors, are particularly useful for filming disturbances.

The cameras, which are already in operation in England, were introduced by Wrexham's community safety partnership in the hope of fighting and deterring crime.

They are being used in anti-social behaviour hotspots across the county.

Every recorded frame is watermarked and tamper-proof.

Inspector Chris Beasley said: "We have been using these cameras on a daily basis and they have proved very effective.

"In the past, when officers have visited parents to inform them their children have been involved in anti-social behaviour, many parents found it hard to believe their children are capable of such behaviour.

"Now, with this technology we are able to play back the footage so they can see for themselves what their children have been doing."

Footage can be viewed instantly on hand-held monitors
Footage can be viewed instantly on hand-held monitors

He added: "We have shown the footage to a number of parents and have received very positive feedback from them.

"They are grateful we are giving them the chance to resolve the problem first rather than arresting their child and dealing with the matter at the police station."

North Wales Police say footage can be used as evidence in court, which will save time and result in more guilty pleas.

They are now considering giving the cameras to other agencies such as leisure centre staff who could capture crimes on film.

In 2003 the Sussex force introduced a tiny hidden camera which was hidden behind the badge on the helmet.




SEE ALSO:
Crooks captured by helmet cams
22 Mar 06 |  Bristol/Somerset
Helmet cameras to capture crimes
12 Mar 06 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Brunstrom escapes criminal charge
20 Mar 06 |  North East Wales


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