Council staff could soon be equipped with body cameras to log anti-social behaviour

Park rangers in Northampton could soon sport body-worn cameras to record anti-social behaviour - but they will have to tell people before they put them on.

Thursday, 22nd September 2016, 5:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:33 pm

Northampton Borough Council is proposing to introduce the cameras for staff across the town, in a bid to “improve standards of safety and cleanliness”, it says.

The move would see neighbourhood wardens, park rangers and its town centre operatives equipped with the devices, similar to those used by police officers.

The proposals will be put before the general purposes committee next Thursday, which will consider any practical implications before the final decision on whether to introduce them is taken by the cabinet in October.

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Councillor Alan Bottwood, cabinet member for the environment, said: “The main purpose of introducing body-worn cameras is to make our staff safer and more effective.

“We hope the cameras will help to prevent and diffuse anti-social behaviours, as well as provide an excellent source of additional evidence in more severe cases.

“As the availability of this type of technology has improved, body-worn cameras are now a cost-effective tool that will support the many other ways that we work to ensure the safety and high standards of our town.”

Cameras will be used to record “individual incidents” at the discretion of council staff, the authority says.

All those allocated one will receive training on how to use them.

However, the council says all the operatives will be obliged to “inform members of the public” before switching on their body camera.