All prison officers in England and Wales to get body-worn cameras
Government spends £2m on equipping 5,600 staff with technology designed to improve safety
The rollout of body-worn cameras is part of a wider investment in prison officers' security that also includes the deployment of improved handcuffs and incapacitant spray Credit: PA
The government is spending £2m to equip every one of the 5,600 prison officers in England and Wales with body-worn cameras.
The widespread rollout follows successful pilot schemes in 22 prisons. The government claims that allowing all officers to record video footage will help prevent violence and other crimes, while providing valuable evidence with which to prosecute prisoners that commit offences.
Prisons minister Sam Gyimah said: “I am absolutely determined to tackle head-on the issues that undermine the safety and security of our prisons and to ensure our dedicated officers have the tools they need to do the job.”
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He added: “This latest investment underlines our commitment to transform our prisons into places of safety and reform and should send a clear message to those intent on thwarting our efforts to make progress that we will do everything in our power to stop them.”
The deployment of body-worn cameras is part of a wider investment in prison-officers’ safety, including spending £1m on improved handcuffs and restraints, and trialling the use of PAVA incapacitant spray in four prisons.
London’s Metropolitan Police Service has pioneered the use of body-worn cameras in the law-enforcement space, kitting out 22,000 beat officers with the technology a year ago.
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The proportion of offences resulting in a formal charge increased slightly, but remains at barely more than one in every 50