Police officers responding to 999 calls will come armed with a new weapon in the fight against crime from this week.

Cameras attached to officers’ uniforms are designed to record interactions with the public during a call-out to later act as evidence, but also to be used to review procedure in dealing with certain situations.

The cameras, will be piloted by members of two of Croydon’s five emergency response teams.

New borough commander, Chief Superintendant Andy Tarrant, welcomed the introduction.

He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity in terms of gethering evidence and presenting better evidence. A picture can be worth 1,000 words.”

He added the footage could be used both to restore faith in the evidence presented by police during court cases, but also would be available to be reviewed by senior officers to check officers are using correct procedure.

He said: “Any additional information we can provide to help towards a conviction is a positive. The footage will hopefully also help to articulate the difficult and sometimes dangerous sitatuations my officer shave to deal with.”

The police have offered assurance that officers have been issued with strict guidance about when cameras are to be used, which means they will routinely collect evidence in incidents such as domestic abuse and public order but also for potentially contentious interactions such as the use of stop and search.

Members of the public will be informed as soon as practical that they are being recorded.

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