Putting North-east crime into focus

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Grampian Police is to become the first force in Scotland to give every on-duty officer access to pioneering body-worn video camera technology.

Following a successful pilot in Aberdeen over the past 18 months, the scheme will now be rolled out across the Moray and Aberdeenshire divisions.

The force will soon have enough cameras to allow every single operational officer, or pair of officers on duty, to have access to the equipment.

The cameras,smaller and lighter than a mobile phone, are worn on the upper body and have so far been utilised as part of a broad range of police work including city centre patrols, specific events, operations and during drugs search warrants.

They take clear and accurate digital images with sound which provides additional evidence and can be critical. The cameras offer many benefits to both police officers and the community, as supported by an independent review on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Of the cases proceeded with by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service which used the video footage as evidence, more than 90% have resulted in an early guilty plea.

This has allowed substantial numbers of officers more time working in their communities.

Superintendent Nick Topping, who has overseen project, said: “Throughout the pilot, we have been delighted by the difference the body worn video cameras have made. As an evidence-gathering tool they have surpassed our initial expectations and the results really do speak for themselves.”