22,000 Body Cameras are Being Given to London Police

By Tom Pritchard on at

In the grand scheme of things, forcing the police to wear body cameras isn't such a bad idea. Especially since they apparently cut complaints by more than 90 per cent, and have probably have a lot of amusing YouTube-worthy footage.

So it's no surprise that, as of today, 22,000 of the things are being rolled-out to London police.

The cameras, supplied by Taser, are not constantly recording, however. Each one needs to be manually activated by the officer wearing it, with a red light and beeping noise indicating that filming has begun. Once a camera is switched on, members of the public are to be notified "as soon as is practical".

Any and all footage is uploaded to a secure server, where it will lie in wait for 31 days - just in case it's needed as evidence in court. After 31 days the data is deleted, and won't be uploaded to the internet for everyone to laugh or cringe at.

The MET hopes that the new cameras will help make its actions more transparent, since it lets officers and accused citizens and call upon video footage as defence for their actions. On top of that, it's hoped that the presence of a camera will prevent both sides from acting out, and help make the courts system more efficient. It's much harder to plead innocence if there's video evidence proving your guilt.

The roll-out is said to be the largest of its kind in the world, with cameras handed out to officers in stages. All 22,000 cameras are expected to be in service by next summer. [MET via Engadget]