Body-worn cameras are now being worn by police officers patrolling Trafford. The 191 officers were the first to be given the devices in the Greater Manchester Force with the aim improving evidence gathering.
The cameras have been trialled in Manchester and eventually around 3000 frontline officers across the Force will be issued with them by the end of 2016.
A light flashes when the device is on so the public know they are being filmed. Officers will have to switch on the cameras at certain times and during certain incidents. According to a police spokesperson that could mean being used a during domestic abuse related call out or a stop and search.
Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: “Body cams are a valuable evidential tool during cases while victims of domestic abuse have been saved from giving evidence because of the footage provided.
“This roll out has been part of our plans to improve the service that we provide to the public since summer 2013 and since then we have had 80 cameras active amongst our response teams in Manchester on a trial basis, to test their effectiveness and their practical use day-to-day.
“Other Forces have seen, as well as assisting with cases, an increased confidence in policing when cameras were worn by officers, something that we hope will be echoed in Greater Manchester and will lead to a greater understanding of victims’ needs.”
Cameras will be given to officers in the neighbourhood teams, the Hostage and Crisis Negotiation Unit, Roads Policing and Intercept Unit, Tactical Aid Unit, Tactical Dog Unit and some at the airport.
Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “The challenges of modern day policing demand we embrace new technology which is why I asked GMP to develop plans to introduce body-worn videos for all frontline officers.
“It’s already been shown that the use of body-worn video captures vital evidence, makes officers feel safer, increases public confidence in the police and improves the victim’s journey. It’s good news for the public and police officers.”
Officers will pick up their camera at the start of every shift, with any footage automatically downloaded on their return at the end of the day. Footage will be stored for 31 days unless required for evidence, in which case it can be saved for as long as required