Sutton cops will trial cameras attached to uniforms to catch anti social behaviour
Police are to have hidden cameras fitted to uniforms to catch criminals in the act.
At the annual meeting of Sutton's Neighbourhood Watch last week (June 20), at the Civic Offices, plans were outlined by town centre inspector Richard Hall.
Inspector Hall told licensees, residents and community police teams that the technology is likely to be trialled in the borough this summer.
Police have said the plans will help keep the borough safe, but the plans could meet with opposition.
Nick Pickles, director of civil liberties pressure group Big Brother Watch, said: "This is surveillance before arrest. At the moment only evidence can be used which is taken after you arrested."
Mr Pickles said if the plans do go ahead, police must tell people they are being recorded, and said the main test is whether there is a demonstrable need for the technology.
He said: "Our biggest concern is that this is a one sided tool. If this goes ahead, police must get used to being recorded themselves. We are still a long way from the public having confidence in these kind of systems."
At the Neighbourhood Watch meeting last week, Inspector Hall said public order offences can take place when people have had too much to drink and leave town centre bars and clubs shouting and swearing.
He said: "Yet when those suspects appear before magistrates the next day, they are "suited and sober and butter wouldn't melt in their mouths".
The 'body worn' video cameras, which are about the size of an officer's police radio, would capture their criminal behaviour.
Insp Hall said: "When the suspects are being questioned sitting next to their solicitor in custody at the police station, we will be able to show the images and say: 'Yes, this was you last night'. It would give them very little wriggle room in terms of being able to deny what happened."
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