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The Home Office proposes to allow police to use body-worn video to record interviews with suspects; and doing away with written interview records, replaced with audio, unless such a recording device is not to hand. For what’s proposed, visit the consultation documents. Police can already use evidence captured by wearable cameras but the changes would mean that, for the first time, they can be used for suspect interviews away from the police station setting.
It follows joint work between the Home Office and police to help maximise time spent on the front line by officers and reduce unnecessary trips to and from police stations.
Home Office Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd said: “Having met officers across England and Wales, I’ve seen how technology is bringing 21st century solutions to age-old policing problems. I want our police officers to have access to the best possible equipment, and to be able to use it to bring greater efficiency to frontline policing. We will keep looking for ways to save time and work more effectively, and we will do everything we can to support forces as they adapt for the future.”
By the end of this year, the Home Office reports, 60,000 body-worn video cameras will have been deployed by police forces across England and Wales, notably by the Metropolitan Police.
Revision of Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) codes including video and audio recording of interviews with suspects is being consulted on until December 6.