Lancashire Police has rolled out the use of body worn video technology across the whole force in a bid to capture better evidence.
The force has already piloted the scheme using cameras for a small number of operations, but they will now be used across the full force.
A total of 150 cameras have been distributed to immediate response teams who will use the equipment to capture evidence of criminal behaviour.
Insp Mark Baines, of Lancashire Police, said: “Police forces across the country have already embraced body worn cameras and have identified the potential benefits of their use.
“Here in Lancashire I hope that the wider use of the cameras will promote public reassurance, capture best evidence, prevent harm and deter people from committing crime and anti-social behaviour.
“While offering reassurance to members of the public, safeguarding witnesses and victims, the cameras should also increase officers’ safety.
“The cameras can be used to capture evidence of criminal behaviour that can help to ‘set the scene’ for a court at a later date and reduce reliance on victim evidence, particularly those who may be vulnerable and reluctant to attend court.
“By capturing this evidence, officers should be able to spend less time writing statements and completing paperwork at the station, which in turn will allow them to spend more time patrolling and responding to incidents.
“We will work with the community as wider use of the technology becomes common practice and anybody with concerns about being filmed will be able to discuss this with officers.”
Only specially trained, uniformed officers will wear the cameras and strict guidelines are in place to ensure that the devices are used correctly and the retention of any footage will comply with legislation and national recommendations.
The cameras will not be permanently switched on and members of the public will be informed as soon as practicable that they are being recorded.
Officers ‘dock’ their cameras at the end of each shift, recordings uploaded to a secure server and the memory of the camera is then wiped.