Police officers in Southwark have begun wearing body-worn video cameras.
The body-cams were rolled out on Tuesday, and have been given to 700 of the borough’s front line officers and community support officers.
The purpose of the cameras, which are switched on manually by the officer wearing them, is to provide footage of incidents that require further investigation.
A statement from the Met Police explained that members of the public are told as soon “as practical” that they are being recorded. Whilst recording, the cameras are said to be highly visible, with a flashing red circle in the centre of the camera and a frequent beeping noise when activated.
Footage is automatically uploaded to secure servers once the device has been switched on. Recordings are automatically deleted within 31 days, unless marked as police evidence and retained.
Requests by members of the public to view footage can be made in writing, but must be received within 31 days of an incident taking place.
Detective chief superintendent Simon Messinger, borough commander of Southwark, said: “Body Worn Video is a fantastic addition to the equipment we provide to our front line officers.
“The audio and visual capability will bring officer’s evidence to life, allowing judges, magistrates and jury members to see and hear what the officer experienced. Such footage will provide much needed context in our presentation of evidence.
“I see the issuing of the cameras as an important mechanism to combat crime and one which will support both officers and the public.”
Over the coming months cameras will be issued to all 32 London boroughs and a number of front line specialist roles, including overt firearms officers. The deployment of all 22,000 cameras for London Met officer is due to be completed by the summer.