Maritime officers are amongst the latest members of the Metropolitan Police Service to be issued with body cameras.
The Metropolitan Police’s adoption of these cameras is on a massive scale, making it one of the largest and most significant in the world.
The Met has joined forces from around the world who see the body worn camera as a means to collect evidence which can support convictions, boost accountability and transparency, and protect officers against unfounded and malicious complaints.
Body worn cameras, like those supplied by companies such as https://www.pinnacleresponse.com/, have been provided to over 17,500 frontline officers working in the Metropolitan Police’s 32 boroughs. Firearms teams are also making use of the technology, as are specialist team members such as officers in the Dog Support Unit, the Territorial Support Group and the Roads and Transport Policing Command.
The provision of cameras to around 75 officers in the Maritime Unit marks the latest expansion for the initiative. Chris Green, an inspector in the unit, said that maritime officers made up four response teams capable of responding to a vast range of crimes, including fights and disorder in pubs and on Thames party boats.
The Maritime Unit is also responsible for counter-terrorism patrols and assists armed officers in need of specialist help when accessing the water. Search and rescue also forms a major part of the Maritime Unit’s workload and officers deal with many rescues each year, as well as recovering bodies from the Thames. More information about the work of the Met can be found on the police website at https://www.met.police.uk/.
Inspector Green said that body worn video, or BMW, will assist officers in all areas of their maritime work by offering a secure record of events, whilst ensuring accountability and transparency for the Maritime Unit.
The Met’s large-scale BMV deployment began last October following a public consultation, academic evaluation and a successful trial. The cameras are believed to result in a faster form of justice for victims of crime.
The cameras had previously been shown to be particularly successful in cases of domestic abuse where offenders noticeably pleaded guilty earlier. The cameras do not permanently record in an aim to minimise the unnecessary impact on public interactions and people should be told, when practical, that their actions are being recorded.