THE trial for a national initiative that will see police wear cameras to record crime has started in Warrington.
Officers from Cheshire Police are wearing a small camera on their bodies while dealing with incidents in the town, as part of the pilot scheme.
The trial began on Tuesday and will run for three months.
If successful it will be rolled out to police forces across the country.
Bosses say cameras, costing £299 each, will improve relations between the public and police, ‘changing attitudes’ when people know they are being recorded.
Chf Insp Giles Orton wants the cameras to be used in an open manner.
He said: “We wanted to trial this technology to see its benefits across a range of policing.
“We have engaged with as many people as we can to say what we think about this “If I was a member of the public, the concerns for me would be selective use, is (the recording) going to end up on Youtube?
“This isn’t about covertly recording people, there is a code of conduct that will be continuously monitored.
“We can’t change a recording or do anything to it.
“That is very important on how it can help the police, and the public.”
Warrington was selected for the trial as police deal with a ‘broad range’ of crime here, allowing the cameras to be tested in different circumstances.
Twenty four cameras will be employed, 12 by the town centre unit, and 12 by Warrington Central NPU, which covers Orford, Howley, Fairfield, Poplars and Hulme.
Issues like anti-social behaviour, booze culture in the town centre, domestic abuse and social care problems like neglect will be targeted.
Footage will ‘immediately’ form part of an investigation, in the same way CCTV is used.
Police say the move has been backed by Warrington Borough Council and Pubwatch.
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, is also in support.
24 cameras will be used by two Warrington police units during the trial They make a visual and audio recording Cameras will not record constantly, but can be switched on when deemed necessary by officers.
Police must inform people they are being recorded The footage can be used as part of a criminal prosecution.
Any footage not being used in an investigation must be deleted within 30 days People can use footage when making a complaint against police