Police officers in Gloucestershire should have greater access to body worn video and Taser to better protect themselves and the public, Gloucestershire Police Federation has said.
Chair Sarah Johnson said every operational police officer should have body worn video to capture evidence and act as a preventative measure.
She was speaking after it emerged that nationwide the service has seen a reduction in complaints of up to 93 per cent in areas where the cameras were introduced.
Gloucestershire currently only supplies the cameras to a limited number of officers for specific operations, such as protests, but the Federation is calling for a force-wide roll out.
Officers are also able to spend more time on the beat and deal with incidents more quickly because it is a more efficient way of gathering evidence, Sarah said.
“Incidents are actually dealt with a lot quicker because the evidence is there, first time it’s been recorded. People are aware of that and respond to it in a positive way by stopping or reducing their actions.”
The Federation is currently working with the force on the issue, although as yet there is no formal timescale for when officers can expect more cameras.
“We would hope as soon as we have got the ability to roll out body worn cameras the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner will be willing to do so.”
The Federation has also called for an increased number of Taser to be introduced to frontline officers.
Currently only firearms and a limited of other officers carry Taser. But Sarah said:
“There are huge benefits when it comes to officers being able to look after themselves and after the public when they come across a violent incident.
“If we look at the attack in Leytonstone on the London Underground [in December 2015], whereby Tasers were deployed to somebody who was attacking someone with a knife, incidents like that may not be able to be dealt with as quickly and as effectively without those devices being more readily available.”
The public are broadly in favour of the use of Taser, a recent poll has shown. The research, carried out on behalf of the Police Federation of England and Wales, found that four in five people said it would make “no difference” to them approaching an officer for assistance if the officer were carrying a Taser.