Public order police officers and Body-worn video cameras

Meeting: 
MQT on 2015-05-21
Session date: 
May 21, 2015
Reference: 
2015/1482
Question By: 
Roger Evans
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

Recent anti-democratic protests in central London resulted in four police officers and a member of police staff being injured, and a war memorial being vandalized. Research has shown that the use of body-worn video cameras often calms difficult situations and provides valuable evidence. Would you therefore support calls for all Metropolitan police officers engaged in public order policing to be issued with body-worn video cameras?  

Answer

Answer for Public order police officers and Body-worn video cameras

Answer for Public order police officers and Body-worn video cameras

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes.  The short answer is, yes, body-worn video cameras can be a game-changer in law enforcement and we are certainly going to be rolling that out.  We are currently undertaking the world’s largest pilot of the technology with 623 cameras across ten boroughs.  The final results are due in the autumn, but the initial results are positive. 

Roger Evans AM:  Thank you.  That is very pleasing to hear.  I think all of us here would condemn the violence and criminal damage that took place in Whitehall at those so-called protests.  Could you provide us with an update about the work the police are doing to apprehend the perpetrators? 

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  There were 15 arrests made on the day.  Of those, two for assault on the police and 13 for violent disorder.  There are no charges as yet.  The one person arrested has been interviewed under caution and linked to an offence of encouragement.  There is going to be a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in due course. 

Roger Evans AM:  Yes, good.  There is progress.  That is pleasing to see. 

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Sorry, some of the images of the disorder are going to be released to the media as well.  Seven images of the disorder are going to be released, which will presumably give a vivid account of who was involved. 

Roger Evans AM:  Good.  Just on the trial, there has been some work done on this in San Diego, which I appreciate may not be exactly the same conditions as we have in London, but they have seen that the use of body-worn cameras has resulted in a 47% drop in the use of force by their police officers and, concomitantly, a 41% reduction in the number of complaints against their officers.  I just wondered if our trials that are taking place in London are showing that type of result. 

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  I cannot give you any detailed answers.  All I know is the initial trials are positive, and I hope it will have a benign effect on both sides of the relationship so that both police and the public are encouraged to behave in a law-abiding and civilised way. 

Roger Evans AM:  Thank you.  Thank you, Chair.