Police Scotland has agreed a national contract to equip frontline officers and staff across Scotland with body worn video cameras.

Motorola Solutions UK Limited has been appointed to deliver the £13.3m contract and work has already started to design, build and implement the new capability.

The three-year contract – awarded by the Scottish Police Authority – includes the purchase of 10,500, Home Office-approved VB400 cameras and supporting back-office systems.

The equipment can help to de-escalate incidents, improve public trust in policing and reduce complaints, support officer and staff safety, and bring wider benefits to the criminal justice system.

Deputy Chief Constable Jane Connors said: “The introduction of body worn video will transform policing in Scotland and a national roll-out is a key priority for the Chief Constable.

“Body worn video can significantly enhance public confidence and support officer and public safety by providing effective and transparent evidence of police and public actions.

“Body worn video will also improve the quality of evidence presented in court to deliver faster justice for victims by increasing early guilty pleas and reducing time spent at court for victims, witnesses and police officers.

“We know there is strong public and partner support for body worn video in Scotland and we will continue to explain policing’s use of this important technology, including assurance around data privacy and human rights considerations.”

She added: “Appointing a supplier is an important step and we are working at pace with Motorola Solutions to ensure that body worn video is embedded effectively for frontline officers and staff as soon as possible.

“We also want to maximise the benefits of body worn video for the wider criminal justice system to improve efficiencies and experiences for victims and we are working with Motorola and partners to that end.

“This is a complex programme of work, but appointing a supplier is a big step forward and we’ll continue to share details as progress is made.”

Lady Elish Angiolini recommended a national roll-out of BWV in her independent review of police complaints, published in 2020.

In a national public consultation on body worn video, Police Scotland received more than 9,000 responses showing overwhelming support for its introduction, with 81 per cent agreeing that it would increase public confidence in policing.

Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, Martyn Evans, said: “This a welcome development in the project to roll out body worn video to frontline officers as soon as possible. This remains a priority for the Authority in terms of the safety of officers, effectiveness of investigations and in building trust and confidence.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Police Authority said: “Police Scotland remains the only force in the UK yet to roll out the use of BWV to all frontline officers. The Authority has awarded a contract to Motorola who will work with Police Scotland to roll out Body Worn Video to frontline officers as soon as possible.

“This remains a priority for the Authority in terms of the safety of officers, effectiveness of investigations and in building public trust and confidence. Integrating the cameras with the IT systems used by our partners across the criminal justice system will be a key element of this contract and ensure delivery of a more effective and efficient service to the public.”

Mark Schmidl, senior vice president for international sales at Motorola Solutions, said: “We are proud to support Police Scotland with its nationwide deployment of the VB400, an innovative technology solution developed in Scotland, which will play an important role in helping to make communities safer.”

Every frontline uniformed police officer including Special Constables will be expected to wear a video camera on their uniform while on duty and to activate it when using police powers, whether it be a stop and search, an arrest of a suspect or executing a search warrant.

Police staff in custody suites will also use body worn video when interacting with people in custody.

Officers and custody staff will begin using body worn video once the technical infrastructure is established, operational processes embedded, and training is complete.

Body worn video will be rolled out on a phased basis across the country and more details will be announced at a later date.