ALL Gloucestershire police officers and PCSOs will soon be equipped with personal body worn video cameras.

There has been a phased roll-out of the REVEAL cameras – which come with a £1.2 million price tag – over the past few weeks and by the end of April all frontline officers will be wearing them. The Special Constabulary will have access to a camera pool when required.

A police spokesman said: "The cameras are a valuable addition to officers’ kit and will help capture evidence, deter assaults on frontline staff, secure justice for victims and reduce malicious complaints.

"They will also add to officers’ safety, particularly when patrolling alone.

"Besides being a useful evidence gathering tool, the cameras can increase both officer and civilian accountability. Police actions will be more transparent which should increase public confidence.

"Traumatic events can often affect victims’ and witnesses’ memory and video recordings can assist with securing prosecutions and the ability to secure convictions."

The cameras are visible and will be worn on officers’ uniforms. They are not recording all the time and will be used in specific incidents when an officer believes it is necessary to capture video evidence. In most circumstances, and when possible, the officer will advise a person when the camera is being switched on.

The cameras have been funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, whose Crime Plan Priorities include Accessibility and Accountability. He has funded the cameras using some of the 2018 increase in council tax.

Mr Surl said: “By having a video and sound recording of what they see and hear when they arrive at the scene of an incident, whether that’s an RTC, a fight in a pub, or a report of domestic abuse, officers will be able to present compelling evidence to prosecutors. This means a stronger chance of securing justice for victims.”

Detective Superintendent Julie Mackay said: “We really believe that giving our officers their own video camera will make a big difference by making them and the public safer.

"Elsewhere in the country police officers are already wearing cameras and in these places the equipment is helping to capture crucial evidence and even deter offences in the first place. The cameras will help us convict more criminals and that means safer communities here in Gloucestershire.”