Community panels to view footage shot by police body cameras in Lichfield and Burntwood

Community panels will be given the chance to examine footage shot by body cameras worn by police officers.

One of the police body cameras

One of the police body cameras

Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis said the move would mean Stop and Search procedures were transparent.

Members of the Safer Neighbourhood Panels will be able to examine the footage shot by body cameras worn by all frontline police officers, PCSOs and Special Constables.

“Stop and search is an important power but can seriously harm public confidence in the police when used inappropriately or without the proper rigour which is why recommendations that every stop and search is recorded on body cam is crucial,” Commissioner Ellis said.

“Safer Neighbourhood Panels will now examine stop and search footage to provide an even stronger link with the public and a further important layer of transparency and reassurance.”

A report by the Ethics, Transparency and Audit Panel at Staffordshire Police has said that the use of body worn cameras should be mandatory for all domestic abuse incidents and those where officer use – or anticipate the use of – force.

“The use of body cams is invaluable,” said Commissioner Ellis. “They remove any doubt as to what happened in a situation which means the facts are clear.

“They can make previously complex complaints against police officers easier to investigate and they reinforce openness and transparency in policing which I believe is so important.”

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