West Midlands Police switch on live streaming body cams - The Solihull Observer
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20th Aug, 2022

West Midlands Police switch on live streaming body cams

Sarah Mason 19th Jul, 2022

WEST MIDLANDS Police has switched on live-streaming on its body-worn cameras.

The cameras are only used to stream during active incidents but the force said tests show it has been able to respond quicker and more effectively.

The force has tested the cameras at football matches, protests and during pursuits with traffic officers.

According to the force

The cameras can only be switched on for valid operational reasons and when activated, commanders or specialists elsewhere can see what is happening and offer advice, or deploy reinforcements when necessary.

The force added that officers are able to get quicker instruction from supervision and commanding officers are able to deploy more resources faster if they can see a situation warrants it.

Chief Superintendent Ian Green said: “This latest technology has many advantages, not least in increasing officer safety.

“It gives us a real time view of what officers are facing so we can deploy assistance where needed, or advise officers at scenes on preserving evidence or dealing with someone in mental health crisis.

“We are able to map every officer with a camera and see which ones are recording, but there are strict rules that we will adhere to when choosing to live stream. The system is completely auditable and will be monitored for any unauthorised use.

“We’ve been consulting with our communities and partners so they are fully aware of us now having the ability to live stream in public areas. We have carried out extensive consultation and over 90 per cent of people told us they strongly agreed with us being able to use this new function.”

West Midlands Police added the new cameras will be used by public facing officers, but will not be seen as a replacement for attending scenes and at this stage it will not be used for any independent scrutiny around use of force or stop and search.

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