Police pilot body worn cameras – helping bring domestic abuse offenders to justice

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Body worn cameras are now being piloted by Humberside Police patrol officers and they will support the force in bringing offenders to justice, especially in cases of domestic abuse even when victims don’t want to pursue a complaint.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Gadd from the Protecting Vulnerable People Unit said: “Tackling Domestic abuse is our number one priority and across the United Kingdom effects one in four women, as well as large numbers of men. It is a challenging crime to investigate as often offences are behind closed doors with limited evidence available and victims not always willing to make a complaint.

“To ensure that offenders responsible for such offending don’t evade justice we are piloting body worn cameras with patrol officers in Hull who are routinely respond to emergency calls for help from victims or witnesses of such violence. By equipping our officers with this tool for recording vital evidence, including initial accounts from everyone involved and often capturing images of any injuries that have been sustained.

“This vital footage provides vital evidence that can then be submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service to secure a charges and subsequent prosecutions of perpetrators of domestic abuse.”

The force are already reaping the rewards from the investment in the cameras.

On Monday 17 April we were called following a domestic assault on Annandale Road, Hull were 32-year-old Shane Patrick Fores had assaulted his girlfriend.

Officers were sent to the incident and the camera footage captured an account from a witness outlining that Fores had punched and bitten the woman and he was arrested. The officers then visited the woman at her home and the footage showed bruising and cuts that the she’d sustained in the incident. However she did not want to pursue a complaint.

The footage however, along with Fores account while in interview led to him being charged with assault by beating. He appeared at Hull Magistrates Court on Wednesday 19 April and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and was imprisoned to 8 weeks.

This case is the first of many cases that are expected to feature evidence from body worn cameras.

DCI Gadd added: “I am aware there are numerous cases already being investigated that will feature prominent evidence captured by officers wearing these cameras. I am sure this evidence will ensure offenders are not only charged but face the justice they deserve. The message is simple – if you commit domestic abuse you will not evade justice.”