UK police trial vest-mounted cameras after killing

Jan 09, 2014 by Raphael Satter

London's police force said Thursday it was rolling out vest-mounted video cameras to some of the capital's 2,300 firearms officers, hoping to help build public confidence after a contentious inquest verdict on a fatal shooting.

The announcement came a day after an inquest jury largely vindicated police officers over the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Mark Duggan, whose death triggered rioting across England more than two years ago.

The case, and its contested conclusion, raised familiar questions about whether armed police are too quick to shoot, and whether they can be held accountable if they are.

Speaking late Wednesday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said the camera experiment was an attempt to improve transparency and restore public trust in the force. It would allow jurors and judges literally to see events from an officer's perspective.

"We want to see if this is an effective way to record evidence and ensure public confidence," he said in a statement.

A police spokesman said Thursday that armed officers will begin wearing recording devices April 1. The number of officers set to wear the cameras has yet to be decided.

Police forces across the world have been experimenting with portable cameras as tools for crime-fighting and police accountability. Cameras mounted on glasses, helmets, or vests are being trialed or distributed across the U.S. Several police forces across the U.K. are also trying out the devices.

Duggan's family reacted with anger to Wednesday's verdict that he was lawfully killed by police, even though he was unarmed when he was shot. The jury said the gang member had thrown a handgun from a taxi he was traveling in as it was stopped by police

The dead man's family said it would challenge the verdict in the courts, and plans to hold a vigil this weekend in the north London neighborhood where Duggan died.

Hogan-Howe said the family had the right "to register ... their protest about the outcome of the inquest."

"We will continue to talk to the family and others to keep our communications alive, and also to make sure, as I believe, that the protest will happen and that there won't be disorder," he said.

Explore further: Non-emergency lines still need a back up plan in case of another meltdown

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Maine company unveils high-tech SWAT team robot

Apr 18, 2013

A Maine company that's developed manned and unmanned tanks with names like "Ripsaw" and "Riptide" for the military and Hollywood filmmakers has unveiled a new contraption—a high-tech police shield that ...

New York police launch high-tech surveillance

Aug 08, 2012

New York police on Wednesday launched what officials say is a revolutionary camera surveillance system that will simultaneously scan the streets and call up data on suspects.

Hong Kong police body cameras spark fears

Aug 09, 2012

In a first for Asia, Hong Kong police said Thursday they will trial the use of video cameras attached to their uniforms to film exchanges with the public, despite concerns from human rights groups.

Recommended for you

Shedding light on solar power

18 hours ago

Everyone wants to save energy, but not everyone knows where to start. Grid Resources, a startup based out of the Centre for Urban Energy's iCUE incubator, is developing a new website that seeks to help homeowners ...

Energy transition project moves into its second phase

18 hours ago

Siemens is studying new concepts for optimizing the cost-effectiveness and technical performance of energy systems with distributed and fluctuating electricity production. The associated IRENE research project ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dirk_bruere
not rated yet Jan 10, 2014
Gun mounted cam might be better

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.