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Police cameras used on booze culture for first time in Warrington
10:20am Thursday 30th January 2014 in News
NEW police cameras designed to record crime have been used to target booze culture on Bridge Street for the first time.
Over the weekend officers from the town centre unit at Cheshire Police used the body worn cameras to film drink-fuelled disorder.
The Warrington Guardian went on patrol on Saturday night with Warrington Town Centre NPU, with reporter Matthew Hobbs reporting live on Twitter.
PC Dan Gee used a camera to film a man arrested for being drunk and disorderly on Academy Way next to the taxi rank at 12.20am.
After police told the suspect he was being filmed he shouted and swore aggressively.
The footage can be used in any criminal proceedings against the man that may take place.
It was the only incident in which a camera was used on Saturday night, but PC Gee believes the cameras will help police as officers become more used to using them.
He said: “I think however you look at it, the cameras are a positive thing.
“The proof will be in the pudding but I believe they will be a help to officers and people will react differently when they know they are being recorded.”
The pilot to trial cameras in Warrington started last Tuesday and will go on for three months.
So far they have been used to arrest a man in breach of bail conditions; arrest of a man wanted for assaulting a taxi driver; a road collision; and when suspects have been randomly searched.
If deemed a success, police say all frontline officers will be provided with one.
They can be used to record any crime, with senior officers keen to focus them on a range of incidents.
Switched on at the discretion of officers, people are supposed to be told whenever possible when they are being recorded.
Footage is uploaded to a database, with records kept of who accesses it.
Insp Neil Drum, of Warrington Central NPU, said: “They will assist police in fighting crime, gathering evidence, and assisting in prosecutions.
“Many interactions will still happen without cameras, although we hope their use will de-escalate incidents.”
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