Police body camera trial nears conclusion

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A study by Cambridge University on the use of body-worn cameras by Yorkshire’s biggest police force is “approaching its conclusion”, senior officers say.

The research project has seen 160 body-worn cameras used by a number of different West Yorkshire Police front-line response officers to see how well they work in providing data and evidence to potentially be used in court.

According to the force, the results of the study will “have a deciding influence” on whether the technology is a viable investment.

The project was launched earlier this year, before which head cameras were only used on occasion by officers investigating domestic violence.

According to the force, the project was “based upon a unique practical evaluation of the different body worn video equipment currently available on the market, and the impact of use of body worn video, in collaboration with Cambridge University.”

Cambridge University says the experiment, which also involves other forces in the UK and around the world, will “address important questions such as pursuing offenders, use of force, legitimacy and the relationship between the police and the community”.

Metropolitan Police officers began wearing tiny cameras on their uniform for the first time this summer, in a scheme designed to capture evidence at scenes of crime and help support prosecution cases.

The trial has seen a total of 500 cameras distributed to 10 London boroughs. It follows criticism of the Met following the death of 29-year-old Mark Duggan at the hands of armed officers.