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Gwent Police officers to wear cameras

Campaign Series: Two Gwent Police officers wearing their new cameras (opposite the phones on their chest) Two Gwent Police officers wearing their new cameras (opposite the phones on their chest)

GWENT Police are to be one of six forces in the UK to trial the use of body-worn cameras.

Gwent Police Force has been awarded £155,000 from the Home Office to trial the use of these cameras on Police Officers and test the equipment that uploads, secures and distributes the footage. They will also assess public reaction to the concept of camera-equipped Police Officers.

The money for the pilot scheme has come from the new £50 million Police Innovation Fund.

The use of a small number of cameras was successfully trialled by Gwent Police in December as part of the 'Townsafe' initiative for night time crime in Caerphilly. The additional funding will enable the Force to eventually roll out around 360 cameras across Gwent for use by front line officers.

The technology can be used to gather evidence to investigate crime and the evidence could also be used to investigate complaints and hold the police to account.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "I'm delighted the Force has been awarded this funding and I'm confident the benefit of using these cameras and the associated technology will be realised in terms of criminal justice savings and in terms of Police Officer integrity and safety.

Scientific research also supports the evidence that body worn cameras can assist in de-escalating an incident when the offenders are made aware of its presence."

He added: "The widespread introduction of this technology also complements my Police and Crime plan for Gwent which aims to put victims of crime at the heart of everything we do and ensures that people here are less affected by crime and anti-social behaviour and are protected from serious harm.

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