Northern Ireland prison warders to wear body cameras in "high risk areas"

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Prison warders in Northern Ireland are to start wearing body-cameras in “high risk areas”, it was announced today.

Article Source: http://www.belfastlive.co.uk

Justice Minister, Claire Sugden, said issuing the ‘Body Worn Cameras’ comes after a rollout with the PSNI.

She added: “Since becoming Minister I have been determined to ensure that prison officers have all the support required to do their job safely and effectively. Following a successful pilot by the Northern Ireland Prison Service of the use of Body Worn Cameras in high risk areas in the prison estate; I asked for further work to examine how they could be deployed further.

Justice Minister Claire Sugden and Austin Treacy, Governor of HMP Magilligan, views the new Body Worn Camera on a prison officer

Justice Minister Claire Sugden and Austin Treacy, Governor of HMP Magilligan, views the new Body Worn Camera on a prison officer (Photo: Lorcan Doherty Photography)

“I am pleased to announce that this work is now complete and before the end of March, Body Worn Cameras will be available for deployment in all areas of the three prison establishments in Northern Ireland.

Maghaberry Prison in Lisburn

Maghaberry Prison in Lisburn

“I believe this is a significant and important step in ensuring that prison officers have the right tools to perform their difficult and challenging role and will contribute to a safer prison environment for both staff and prisoners.”

The Department of Justice said an assessment of the pilot scheme “suggests Body Worn Cameras could be used to promote reassurance, modify behaviour, prevent harm and deter prisoners from committing breaches of prison rules as well as providing evidential quality video and audio recordings”.