drunken nights out in Liverpool captured on film by police officers wearing body-worn cameras
Dramatic footage of drunken louts in Liverpool city centre – captured by Merseyside Police officers wearing body-worn cameras – was released today.
The clips of disorderly behaviour (click above to watch) were handed to the ECHO as the force warned Christmas party-goers to be on their best behaviour.
From tonight, officers patrolling Liverpool city centre and Merseyside’s town centres will be equipped with the state-of-the-art body-cams, which are capable of recording incidents in high-definition.
They have been dubbed as an “extra pair of eyes and ears” for patrols dealing with booze-fuelled disorder and violence.
Clips released to the ECHO include the arrests of two Merseyside women for being drunk and disorderly and assaulting police officers in Victoria Street and Fleet Street, and one of a Scottish man held for the same offence after officers stopped his friend urinating against a wall in Slater Street.
Merseyside Police has secured 500 of the body cams, which are seen by force bosses as a vital tool in keeping the busy night-time areas of the county safe.
The cameras can obtain evidence of incidents such as a fight taking place, people being abusive to officers or other members of the public, a crime scene and a victim’s injuries suffered during an assault.
Superintendent Mark Wiggins, who has responsibility for Liverpool city centre, told how the cameras were being introduced over the Christmas party season.
He said: “With office party season in full swing across Merseyside, we want people to be able to go out and have an enjoyable time in a safe environment across Merseyside, but ensure they act responsibly while doing so.
“Liverpool is already one of the safest cities in the country and has achieved national recognition of this with purple flag status.
“However, inevitably a minority of people will let themselves down by drinking too much and getting involved in an anti-social or violent incident.
“This can range from someone urinating in the street to a serious assault but either way, it is not the sort of behaviour that late night shoppers, shop staff, bar workers or other, law-abiding members of the public want to see.
“Our increased use of body cams will help us tackle these problems. We make it clear to people when officers are filming them and we have found already that some people start to behave themselves when we point this out to them. This means we are doing everything possible to avoid confrontation and to calm potentially volatile situations without having to arrest people unless it is necessary.
“Additionally some people think they can dispute their poor behaviour but when they are shown the footage from the body cams once in custody, they generally admit the offence.”
The cameras will also deter those who make malicious complaints against officers - whose own behaviour will be captured on film.
PC Andy Roper, from the roads policing unit, which has also been equipped with the cameras, said: “I think it makes other people change the way they react to you. There’s no point in being officious, you want to be chatty.
“But the people you are talking to close up because they know they are on camera.
“It reduces the number of complaints. Complaints take up resources and time. And there’s the added pressure if there’s a complaint made against you, you’ll be put on restricted duty.
“You only really put it on when you have a confrontational situation.”
Other units wearing the body cams this Christmas include neighbourhood response teams, the Matrix anti-gang unit, and the force’s mounted section.
Officers wear the cameras overtly on their body armour and must point out to people that they are being filmed.
The footage is impossible to edit by the wearer and downloads immediately to a secure and restricted network for evidential purposes.
Pictures are deleted after 30 days unless they are required evidentially.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Body worn cameras are rapidly becoming a key part of frontline policing.
“Not only do they provide a deterrent against abusive and anti-social behaviour, they are also a vital tool in helping the police gather evidence and secure guilty pleas and convictions.
“The reaction of some individuals on seeing their behaviour on tape after the incident, often when they have sobered up, can be astonishing.
“Using these cameras speeds up justice, puts offenders behind bars more quickly and protects potential victims. It also demonstrates the dangerous and difficult job Merseyside Police officers day-in, day-out serving the public.”
Source Click Me