Central Bedfordshire Council will be providing its community safety and traffic and parking officers with new body cameras.
The cameras will be used from Thursday, October 11, and any offenders will be warned that the video evidence may be used in future prosecutions.
The introduction of body cameras will help to improve evidence gathering, inspection and monitoring procedures, and increase the safety and well-being of council staff. The cameras will be worn on overtly on a lanyard or fitted to the officer’s jacket, but will only be activated when necessary.
The camera has a screen that is visible to the person being spoken to, and displays the live footage being taken by the camera lens. The public will also be advised by the officer that a recording is being made. The cameras will be used in public and in private premises, and they record both sound and video.
Councillor Ian Dalgarno said: “We have invested in cutting-edge technology to help us serve the communities in our area better, and to keep them safer.
“The cameras will allow front-line council officers to gather first-hand video and audio evidence of an incident.
“They will give staff confidence when dealing with confrontational individuals, and will help to increase public confidence in the way we collect evidence.
“Body cameras are increasingly used by the police and by other local authorities. They are not intended as a replacement for other methods of evidence-gathering, but are an additional tool to support our investigations.
“Footage can help to clearly show the impact and extent of antisocial behaviour, which can otherwise be difficult to describe in a written statement.”