‘Robocop’ officers aim to catch offenders on camera

POLICE now have a new high-tech weapon in the fight against crime.

newsletter.co.uk | Jul 31, 2009

Officers in the Lisburn command area will be equipped with “body-cams” allowing them to record every moment of criminal behaviour.

Judge and jury will then be able to witness crime scenes for themselves and the footage should ensure that the punishment fits the crime.

The new “Robocop-like” devices – which allow for effective night vision and provide a much slicker alternative to truncheons and trusty policeman’s notebooks – will be a welcome addition to PSNI practice and should boost public safety.

The expensive cameras will be fitted onto officers’ uniforms or hats and are designed to look obvious in the hope that the prospect of being filmed will deter would-be criminals.

Lisburn Area Commander David Moore – who is delighted that his
officers now have eight of the innovative cameras to use on the beat – said this enhancement of police capability was “invaluable”.

“It is the PSNI’s responsibility to ensure that the best quality of evidence can be brought into court in criminal cases,” he said.

“With these new cameras, officers will no longer have to rely solely on 10-page reports of crime scenes.

“We will be able to deliver high resolution footage to the courts, meaning that jurors will be able to view the situation for themselves and defendants will not be able to escape blame when we can show them caught in the act.

“The Public Prosecution Service and the judicial system, as well as officers on the beat, all stand to benefit from this technology.”

Although there are no plans yet to provide cameras for officers across the Province, Mr Moore is certain that the Big Brother revolution of a surveillance society will shape the future of efficient policing.

“We have introduced the cameras in Lisburn after much commercial support in purchasing the technology and though it is very expensive we believe the results, in terms of conviction rates and protection for our officers on the ground, will be worth every penny.”

Officers in the Lisburn command area were officially kitted out with the cameras yesterday, so anti-social elements in the area had better get themselves on the straight and narrow – or they face the prospect of a packed courtroom watching footage of them “caught in the act”.

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