SOUTH Wales police are to introduce body worn video cameras as part of operational equipment over the next few months.

Body worn video may be used in court as evidence and for investigative purposes, including complaints against police or as a training material for police.

Forces currently using the technology have seen a range of benefits from using body worn video to support their general patrolling and investigative tasks.

Benefits include gathering and presentation of evidence, changing the behaviour of offenders and lower incidence or escalation of violence.

The equipment has increased guilty pleas by defendants and time on patrol and less time spent on paperwork.

There has been improved public co-operation and interactions with police, and transparency and accountability.

Assistant chief constable Richard Lewis said: “Equipping our officers with body worn cameras is the start of a new way we capture, utilise and share digital evidence. The technology is very exciting and will assist officers and staff in doing their jobs, it will ensure that we are more accountable to the public that we serve and in turn build trust with our communities.”

He said all uniform frontline officers and PSCO’S would be personally equipped with devices to be able to record the challenges they face on a daily basis.

Officers will wear the camera on their body clearly visible to the public.

ACC Lewis added: “The use of the camera will be at the officers’ discretion in the main but we will be providing direction on when they should be used for instance when carrying out a stop and search, when attending an incident of domestic violence or when they feel there will be a use of force, but officers will generally use the camera when they would normally use their notebook to record information, capture evidence or record something of relevance or when exercising a police power.

“We are committed to innovation and implementing modern technology to enhance officers’ job performance, to better protect our communities and to strengthen public trust. We are confident that it will benefit the police, the courts and the community.”