16 Jun 2017
Dyfed-Powys Police officers have this week secured Welshpool’s first guilty plea, directly linked to new Body Worn Video (BWV) camera evidence.
24-year-old John Christopher Gallagher received a 12-month conditional discharge and a £120 fine after pleading guilty to a public order offence at Welshpool Magistrate court earlier this week [Tuesday, 14 June 2017]. The sentencing is the first of a series of appearances due in court linked to evidence captured by BWV cameras, recently rolled-out to Welshpool staff and officers.
Chief Constable Mark Collins said:
“The roll-out of Body Worn Video training started in March and nearly half of Dyfed-Powys Police officers and staff now have their cameras.
“When we launched the cameras we said that they will provide the public with more reassurance and will help officers to document valuable evidence, leading to swifter justice for victims. We have seen this in this case and I expect to see it more and more as use of Body Worn Video becomes more common. I’m pleased that the benefits of this new technology are already being seen by the public.”
The footage captured by the cameras provides visual and audio evidence for use at court; meaning offenders are more likely to plead guilty and can be brought to justice faster. It will improve the process of investigating complaints against officers, and make them more accountable to the public. Officers will only record if there is a policing need and it is proportionate to do so.
BWV cameras will be clearly visible, worn attached to the officer’s uniform - usually on the chest. The camera is always on but will only begin recording once the officer presses ‘record’. When in ‘standby’ mode the cameras will record a rolling 30-second loop of film, there is no audio until the recording begins. Officers will announce when they begin and end filming. When recording, the camera makes a regular loud beep and displays a solid red circle in the centre.
Many police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will be equipped with BWV cameras on their patrols of events and local areas this summer. Dyfed-Powys Police encourage people to come and enjoy what the area has to offer, but to do so safely and with consideration for others. Follow @DyfedPowys or search #EnjoyDPP on Twitter, or search @DPPolice on Facebook for updates and advice.