All police in NI are to start wearing cameras on their uniforms

The PSNI
The PSNI

The PSNI have announced that within months its officers will be wearing recording devices as standard.

A spokesman for the PSNI said that while cameras are available to officers for evidence gathering before, now all frontline police officers will be wearing them.

A press release from the PSNI said the “development marks the next phase in the roll-out of body worn video technology to officers delivering front-line policing across Northern Ireland”.

It says that these will be deployed over “a number of months,” and adds that evidence gathered through video footage “provides a compelling account of activities of suspects and enables the raw emotion and action from a scene to be replayed in the courts in a manner that could never be captured in a witness statement”.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: “In 2014, we piloted the use of Body Worn Video in G District [in Londonderry], which was one of our eight policing districts, at that time.

“We were keen to establish what benefits this technology would bring in terms of supporting accountability, improving outcomes for victims of crime and streamlining criminal justice processes to produce speedier justice.

“We also needed to understand the level of technological infrastructure that was required and what changes or upgrades we might have to implement, in order to facilitate the movement of this video footage from one station or location to another.”

On the basis of the pilot findings from Londonderry, a case for using the cameras was submitted to the Department of Justice, funding was allocated, and now the supplier (Edesix) has been announced.