POLICE officers carrying firearms across Bedfordshire will now be fitted with body worn video cameras to help corroborate evidence in relation to incidents attended by firearms officers.
The move was enforced as of today (Monday, September 25) within the tri-force armed policing unit in order to increase transparency.
Such cameras are already used by response officers and the force says this has led to quicker justice for victims as well as providing reassurance for both the public and officers during incidents.
Chief Inspector Julia Hands from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire APU said: "Our firearms officers welcome the introduction of the body worn video cameras and we hope that they will also be welcomed by the public.
"The cameras allow for an accurate account to be recorded from the scene of an incident, which is particularly key in the highly pressurised incidents that our firearms officers have to attend, when split second decisions need to be made.
"We believe that the cameras will increase our transparency and this in turn will help to improve the public's confidence and trust in our firearms officers, who work incredibly hard on a daily basis in the face of serious threats to protect the public and fight crime."
The cameras can either be attached to the officers' helmets or their protective vests, but will not be constantly recording.
If the officer decides it is necessary to start recording, they will inform the public present as soon as practically possible.
If the public wish to view footage taken of them they can request, in writing, to obtain it under freedom of information and data protection laws.
The request should be made as soon as possible after the event as, under data retention policies, footage that is not marked as police evidence will auto-delete from the system within 31 days of the incident.
Bedfordshire on Sunday