London Met to wear body cameras in the largest pilot test in the world

Met Police Car

500 Metropolitan police officers will be equipped with brand new body cameras to help bring speedier justice to criminals.

From today a select group of 500 London police officers will be pilot testing the brand new body camera covering 10 boroughs - Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Brent, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Havering, Hillingdon, and Lewisham.

The firm supplying the cameras is Taser - a company that specialises in developing hardware to 'make the world a much safer place.'

Officers will be wearing the Taser Axon body on-officer cameras which are believed to be amongst the most durable of their kind. They can survive being run over by a car, record up to 12 hours of footage and they have a 130-degree field of vision.

All captured footage is sent to either an iOS or Android smartphone via Bluetooth, and if a mobile data connection is present the footage will also be uploaded into Taser's cloud storage system

If the pilot test is a success then their usage could extend to firearms police who for the time being will only be wearing the cameras for training purposes.

The Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “Body-worn video will not only help us fight crime and support victims but help the Met to be more accountable.

“Our experience of using cameras already shows that people are more likely to plead guilty when they know we have captured the incident.

“That speeds up justice, puts offenders behind bars more quickly and protects potential victims.

“I believe it will also show our officers at their best, dealing with difficult and dangerous situations every day but it will also provide clearer evidence when it's been alleged that we got things wrong. That has to be in both our own and the public's interest.”

Suspected criminals will have no right to ask that the officer ceases recording, whereas a victim will have the right to ask that any recording is stopped. Another spokesperson from the Met police also points that criminals "will be informed as soon as practical that they are being recorded"

The trial will last one year from today.