South Yorkshire Police invest £1.2m on body worn cameras to help protect officers from rising assaults
Police officers across South Yorkshire will be taking to the streets with body worn cameras to protect staff from being assaulted.
The South Yorkshire force has invested £1.2million on the new scheme which will see more than 1000 officers and frontline staff fitted with the equipment.
It is hoped the cameras will not only protect officers from being victims of assault, but also help in supporting prosecutions and bringing criminals to justice.
Firearms officers, roads policing staff, dog handlers, response officers and neighbourhood police officers will now wear the small compact cameras when on patrol following a successful pilot earlier this year.
Funding for the 1250 cameras has been made available by South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Alan Billings.
Chief Superintendent Rob Odell said: "It is really important to equip our officers with the latest technology to support them and to support victims of crime.
"It is a major commitment from the force and by October we will have 1000 people trained in using the cameras.
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"They will not only support prosecutions, but they will also have a preventative effect and curb people's behaviour.
"They are also increasing our transparency as a force in the eyes of the public.
"They will save a lot of stress and aggravation and also save the criminal justice system money."
Latest figures show 477 police officers were assaulted in the 12 months leading up to March 2018. Of those, 241 caused injury.
The pocket size piece of equipment has a movable camera head, allowing officers to get different angles without having to unclip the camera and hardware encryption means footage is safe and secure from the moment it is recorded.
The cameras have also been introduced to support and protect victims of domestic abuse. The force say they will help in domestic abuse cases where victims may not want to press charges because the footage can be used as evidence.