Police to don digital cameras in modernisation drive

A cohort of 500 Metropolitan Police officers are to be given body cameras to wear as part of a bid to modernise the criminal justice system by recording interviews and crime scenes and even streaming filmed evidence in court.

The digital courts initiative is the brainchild of the Ministry of Justice which is stumping up £75m a year on replacing mountains of paperwork to be supplanted with laptops and video displays.

This aims to ensure that all criminal courts operate digitally by July 2016 and is geared toward the ultimate goal of equipping every officer with recording equipment.

Justice minister Damian Green said: “We have found cameras [particularly useful] in domestic violence cases. I want to see a criminal justice system where information is captured once by a police officer responding to a crime then flows through the system to the court stage without duplication or reworking.

"Many forces are already using digital technology like body-worn video, which can be used to collect compelling evidence at the scene of crimes."

It is hoped that this will speed up the justice process by eliminating some pre-trial hearings and allowing officers and defendants to deliver evidence by remote link.

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