Police in Amber Valley and Matlock have started using body-worn video cameras following a successful trial in Chesterfield.
The cameras attach to officers’ high-visibility vests and can record high-definition video instantly at the push of a button.
They are designed to allow police officers to record crimes and incidents as they happen, which can help support victims and witnesses of crime, encourage early guilty pleas, reduce complaints against police and reassure members of the public.
A trial started in Chesterfield in mid-June and the cameras have already proved successful, with footage helping to secure a domestic violence charge and to disprove a complaint against a police officer’s conduct.
Officers are now using the cameras across Amber Valley, including Ripley, Heanor, Alfreton and Belper. They are also being rolled out in Matlock.
Superintendent Graham McLaughlin, who is leading the project, said: “We’ve been actively using the cameras for several weeks now and they have already proved their worth several times.
“The purpose of them is to encourage early guilty pleas where we have video evidence, to better serve the public, and to help us reduce crime, especially alcohol-fuelled violence.
“The devices have already helped us to do just that and I’m pleased that more and more communities in Derbyshire will now feel the benefits.”
In total, 542 body worn cameras will be issued to officers across Derbyshire over the next year, with a further 200 due the following year.
They are not switched on at all times and will only start recording at the discretion of the officer wearing it.
All recorded footage is encrypted and secure and automatically deletes after 31 days of the filming.
Any material eventually used in evidence can be retained for between six and 100 years
The regional project has been part-funded by the Home Office Police Innovation Fund.