Most police in Britain’s capital will use body-mounted cameras by next March as the city plans to order 20 000 extra devices to help officers “fight crime and boost public confidence”, Mayor Boris Johnson said on Wednesday.
The Metropolitan Police will equip all neighbourhood officers and “response officers” with the cameras, giving London the world’s largest concentration of body-mounted cameras, following a trial with about 1 000 devices since last year.
“This is exciting technology that will build trust, help the police do their jobs, and allow the public to hold officers more accountable,” Johnson said.
“Our plans for the roll-out of body-worn video will make the technology available to more officers in a single city than anywhere else in the world and is a giant step towards a truly 21st century police force for London,” he said.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, said the cameras will allow officers to “make a record of the very challenging circumstances they are asked to deal with on a daily basis”.
“It will also improve public scrutiny of how we carry out our role,” Hogan-Howe said, adding that a camera was “an essential tool in gathering evidence of offences”.
An ethics panel plans to produce guidelines for police using the cameras later this year, Johnson’s office said.