Equipping all Gloucestershire Police officers with body-worn video cameras will hopefully reduce vexatious complaints and assaults on police officers, the Police Federation has said.

The cameras will be used in specific incidents where officers feel it is necessary to capture video evidence of a situation.

Use of the recorders has been approved by Police and Crime Commissioner, Martin Surl, and Chief Constable Rod Hansen. 

Gloucestershire Police Federation Chairman, Mike Harrison, was pleased with the decision and said:

“They’ll make a vast difference. Not only are they there to collect crucial evidence of an offence but they can also provide the victim’s side of things.

“They will also protect officers from vexatious complaints as it’s very easy for someone to come into a police station and make a complaint about an officer, but with bodycams the evidence is clear.”

Body cameras have been worn for a number of years by other forces across the UK and Mike now believes they could also have a positive impact for Gloucestershire.

He said:

“Some forces have seen a massive decrease in complaints and it has gone some way in stopping officer assaults. If someone knows they are being recorded it could be enough to negate them doing something silly or having a go at an officer.

“Officers are able to record offences taking place and can bring more people to justice, just with more live time evidence being captured. The chances of an offender getting away with it are negated by that evidence.”

The introduction of the body cameras could also assist victims from across Gloucestershire in challenging court cases.

Mike said:

“There are occasions where a victim doesn’t feel strong enough to go to court and deliver their evidence, so this will go a long way in showing the courts how someone was affected.

“I think it’s a really good decision by the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner to introduce it across the force.”