Witney News - West Oxon officers get high-tech headwear

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West Oxon officers get high-tech headwear

West Oxon officers get high-tech tool to deter disorder and violence

West Oxfordshire police are being given an extra set of eyes on their patrols in the form of headcams.

The mini cameras, which can be worn on a headband or clipped onto a helmet, have been purchased by the West Oxfordshire Community Safety Partnership. Police Community Support Officers and Response Officers will wear the cameras as a preventative and evidence gathering measure.

Supplied by Robocam, the headset contains a compact lightweight digital camera which sits next to the wearer's ear and transmits images via a cable to a small VCR held in the officer's tactical vest. The camera also has a microphone and works equally well during daylight and night-time.

A free trial of a body worn camera took place last year by the Witney Neighbourhood Team as well as door staff at Izi's, the Eagle Vaults and Nortons wine bar. Following its positive feedback the Partnership decided to purchase two headcams at a cost of £1,000 each. The funding came from the income of the radio link CCTV system which successfully operates in Witney town centre.

Neighbourhood Manager Sgt Scott Evans, who has introduced the equipment, said: “The headcams will initially be used by the Witney team to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder and reduce aggressive behaviour towards our PCSOs. It’s surprising how much a person's behaviour improves once they see the camera.

“The footage is downloaded onto a computer and can be shared with colleagues at briefings as well as providing high-quality evidence for cases that go to court.

“If the cameras continue to prove a success then we will look to receive further funding to purchase more for the other neighbourhood teams.”

Posted : 11/03/2008 16:39:16

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