Police officers in Sutton trial body cameras
Police officers in Sutton Town Centre are trialling a new high definition body cameras worn on their protective jackets.
The small device records the sights and sounds of what is going on in front of them and the trial is of such good effect, the borough is looking to fund more cameras.
Officers who have used the cameras over the last two months report many offenders have chosen to leave a scene quietly, after being shocked and embarrassed to see their bad behaviour played back to them.
In contrast, the minority of offenders who continue their abusive and aggressive behaviour despite being recorded, are providing police with the image based evidence needed to secure a prosecution.
Sutton Town Centre Inspector Richard Hall said it was proving to be a 'win win' situation.
He said: "In the vast majority of cases, the cameras are resulting in more incidents being dealt with on the street and less officer time spent at the police station dealing with the paperwork involved in processing prisoners."
Officers wearing cameras have been able to record a man who had been arrested and was being taken to the police station, to admit he had been carrying a knife before he discarded it during a police chase.
They have also been able to convince a woman that her friend had not been pushed and shoved by officers, when the footage was played back to her.
Insp Hall added: "Officers are telling me they are feeling more empowered.
"It’s important to mention that no one has tried to appeal against any outcome when we have shown the footage to suspects; nor has there been any complaint against police upheld whilst officers have been equipped with the cameras."