Bobby.TV versus Justin.TV, as UK Police Get Helmet Cams

Following successful trials, British policemen are to be issued with head cameras while they are on the beat. The 3 million ($6.1 million) scheme, which led to an increase in the number of convictions of offenders when it was tried out in the southwestern town of Plymouth, is to be rolled out throughout the country.

Three hundred police officers were given access to 50 cameras and body-worn video equipment, which they could strap on during day or night patrols. The visual evidence of crimes meant that it was well-nigh impossible for the perpetrators to get away with it, as was frequently the case. There was less paperwork for the police, less time spent in court, earlier guilty pleas and an increase in convictions.

At the end of the yearlong pilot, arrests for violent crime were up by a massive 85 percent, while the police's detection of violent crime was up by 40 percent. Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, the force which undertook the trial, also claimed to have reduced violent crime by 8 percent.

At the same time as the report was aired, the Home Office published guidance on police proceedures for recorded arrests. Although nothing was mentioned about smiling for the camera and only showing one's best side, it did suggest that the cops notify suspects that their actions are being digitally preserved for posterity (unless it's a covert operation in which case anything goes*).

*That's a joke, by the way.

[Kablenet via The Register]