The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have begun using 400 Edesix VideoBadges in Belfast as their force wide roll-out begins. The deployment has already garnered significant press coverage with the story being featured in multiple publications and on TV, receiving coverage not only from national newspapers, but also from industry specialists.
The BBC, ITV and RTÉ all covered the implementation of the Body Worn Cameras in Belfast, with ITV citing the “successful pilot scheme” that was undertaken in 2015. ITV’s coverage of the roll out can be seen in the video link below, which shows footage taken by one of the cameras, attached to inspector Alan Swan, as well as how they are designated to officers;
Chris Kilpatrick, writing for Belfast live, showed the extent to which VideoBadges could aid PSNI, based on the fact that they currently “respond to a report of abuse in the home every 19 minutes in Northern Ireland” with the cameras being used to “boost outcomes for victims of crime and produce speedier justice”.
Similarly, The Police Professional Journal stated that Police commanders believe that the cameras “will be of particular use in instances of domestic abuse, with the hope first-hand victim testimony will prove more powerful than written statements taken after the event.”
RTÉ noted that not only will the cameras be beneficial in securing convictions, but will also “avert confrontations before they happen, as people are inclined to moderate their behaviour when they realise the red record light is on.”
The Irish News subjected the VideoBadge VB-300 to their own tests, which included how the camera coped in low light settings and how it fared during a drop test. The video from The Irish News can be seen here;
The Belfast Telegraph featured an in-depth interview with PSNI Chief Superintendent Chris Noble, which can be viewed below
The 400 camera deployment in Belfast is just the first in a force and nationwide roll out in Northern Ireland, with PSNI believing that they will secure “compelling, real time evidence of unfolding criminal situations”.