The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has rolled out 22,000 body-worn cameras to frontline officers as part of a £3.4m deal.
The plan to provide the cameras was announced last year, and the MPS has said that it will improve operations by gathering more useful evidence at incidents.
Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe explained that this has been proved true by pilots of the cameras and he is confident that a force-wide rollout will be a success.
"Our experience of using cameras already shows that people are more likely to plead guilty when they know we have captured the incident on a camera. That then speeds up justice, puts offenders behind bars more quickly and, most importantly, protects potential victims," he said.
"Video captures events in a way that can't be represented on paper in the same detail. A picture paints a thousand words, and it has been shown that the mere presence of this type of video can often defuse potentially violent situations without the need for force.”
Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan said that the cameras will help move the Met into the modern era.
"Body-worn video is a huge step forward in bringing our capital's police force into the 21st century and encouraging trust and confidence in community policing,” he said.
“This technology is already helping to drive down complaints against officers and make them more accountable, as well as helping to gather better evidence for swifter justice.”
The Met said that the public can request access to footage under the Freedom of Information Act, although video is destroyed after 31 days unless retained for evidence.
However, some have raised concerns about how the data will be stored and collected, noting for example that images from videos could be stored in other databases.
The rollout comes at the same time that the government was scolded for illegally gathering huge datasets on UK citizens for almost 20 years in contravention of EU human rights laws.
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