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Public backs body worn cameras for Police Scotland
Armed officers will be kitted out with body-worn cameras ahead of Cop26. Tana888/Shutterstock.com
Justice & Policing

Public backs body worn cameras for Police Scotland 

The public strongly supports Police Scotland’s use of body worn cameras , a survey has revealed.

Almost three quarters of Scots – 73 per cent – would feel “much safer” (58 per cent) or “slightly safer” (15 per cent) if armed cops wore body cameras, while a quarter reported it would make them feel “neither more of less safe”.

Police Scotland’s survey, conducted in February, also found that nine in 10 respondents believe that body-worn video (BWV) technology should be used “always” (74 per cent) or “often” (16 per cent).

Meanwhile, 78 per cent of participants say that knowing interactions with the public are recorded would increase their trust and confidence in officers.

The online poll received almost 9,000 responses. Police Scotland said: “This illustrates the large public interest in this topic and the public’s motivation to continue to be involved in the development of Police’s Scotland’s policies.”

The force added: “We sought views that would help us shape the use of BWV by armed policing officers when interacting with the public. We felt it was important to engage and involve individuals, communities, and our partners to gain their views and measure their confidence in how we use technology and continue to police by consent.”

Respondents covered a range of both geographic and demographic communities, including a notable proportion with a disability or long-term health condition (18 per cent), currently employed by Police Scotland (15 per cent), and under the age of 29 (17 per cent).

Axon’s camera technology will aid police at Cop26. Police Scotland/Supplied

It was announced earlier this month that armed cops will be kitted out with body cameras as part of beefed up security measures to protect international delegates attending the global climate change summit in Glasgow later this year.

The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) awarded US tech firm Axon a £505,000 contract to equip officers patrolling the UN’s Cop26 event, which will see prime ministers and heads of state visiting the city in November.

According to Police Scotland, officers’ use of BWV can improve the quality of interactions with the public, reduce and resolve complaints, increase officer safety, reduce delays to justice, and lead to greater public transparency.

The force is currently carrying out a second survey as part of a 12-week public consultation to enable a conversation on the national rollout of BWV to all operational police officers, staff and special constables in Scotland – funding permitted.

Complete the survey here.

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