Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Copper's eye view

I saw the news recently highlighting the use of a new piece of equipment for the police - a 'head camera' which an officer wears on his head, which will then record images and sounds from his perspective. The news item hihglighted how useful it was in a domestic violence case, with some convincing clips also. We've been told about this camera at our station also, and a couple of them have been bought. There has been mixed views from my colleagues. Some are whole heartedly for them (promotion chasers), some are to busy to care either way (front-line officers), and a small minority hate the idea of them (better remember not to swear at your customers!).

Personally, my view is that they are a good bit of kit. I don't like the idea of them being permanently on, without being able to switch them off, otherwise for an entire 10 hour shift no one will talk to me, leaving me alone to wander about in silence! I wouldn't particularly want to wear one - but thats only because I think it'll make me look like a tit! Mind you, I have the same feeling about the ridiculous design of our police custodian helmets, and I have to wear them. :)


At 11:00 am, Anonymous Mark Lowes said...

They might also inhibit some people from asking advice from officers about sensitive matters if they feel that everything they're saying is being recorded potentially to be reviewed at a later date.

At 9:41 am, Blogger Jez said...

Ah, yes, the issue is one of whether or not this is practical for our friendly copper. To hell with those who worry about being watched by mobile cameras, eh? Perhaps now, we should start wearing masks when we go out. No doubt that would lead to masks being outlawed in public spaces-except for carnival maybe...?

At 2:17 pm, Anonymous Mike said...

About masks being outlawed in public. Here in Italy, several town councils run by the separatist, anti-immigration Lega Nord (Northern League, active mainly in the Lombardy and Veneto regions) have tried to pass bylaws forbidding people to cover their faces in public. This measure is aimed, people assume, at Muslim women. The bylaws invoke a Fascist-era law (and much Fascist legislation has never been formally repealed) requiring people to be recognisable at all times. Muslim women in Italy counter that no one goes around with a full veil, only a headscarf at most. I don't believe these measures have been approved at a national level here. But you can see how this could in some countries become a live issue.
My 2 eurocents' worth..

At 9:10 pm, Anonymous Hoddy said...

I agree not being able to turn it off is stupid. What about loo breaks?

However - IF (and only if) the camera replaces a load of Notes and MG forms, it's a brilliant idea.

If the record from the camera can be 'signed' as valid, officers may even be spared a lot of Court appearances.
And you'd get more guilty pleas.

[I am - perhaps unwisely - assuming the camera/ ppicture quality is as good as we see from the vest cameras on those Police, Camera, Action shows. I.E.: you can see people's faces and HEAR what they say...]


At 11:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good: Undisputable evidence leading to higher conviction/detection rates.

Bad: Used to question officers decisions... Big Brothers Bigger Brother..

At 9:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are about to trial it...I will jump at the chance! (surely it's better being the camera operator behind the lens and not have the starring role?)


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