London police getting body cameras

Better late than never.

Six months later than initially anticipated by former London mayor Boris Johnson, the city's police are getting body cameras. A total of 22,000 police officers in the capital will be equipped with body cameras, Engadget reported recently, saying the deployment is starting today, and should be completed sometime “next summer”. 

The hardware is supplied by Taser. It won't record everything – the police officer will need to activate the recording, and notify the persons being recorded 'as soon as practical'. The camera will play a beeping sound and emit a red light indicating the recording is indeed taking place. The recording will then be uploaded to a secure server, where it will remain for 31 days. If it is not used after that time period, it will be deleted automatically. Metropolitan Police hopes this will have both an active and a preventive role in law enforcement. 

Firstly, it hopes people will refrain from doing illegal activities from the start, and it should also prevent them from trying to hide the truth. It should also force police officers to stay within the law, and reduce the number of complaints against police officers, as well. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, is confident the technology will improve the court system. 

"Video captures events in a way that can't be represented on paper in the same detail," Hogan-Howe added. "A picture paints a thousand words, and it has been shown the mere presence of this type of video can often defuse potentially violent situations without the need for force."

Image Credit: Yukiko Matsuoka / Flickr