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Cop cams could be brought back

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By Lisa Barbour
Annan and Eskdale
Cop cams could  be brought back

BODYWORN cop cams may be reintroduced in Annandale and Eskdale – only weeks after the decision was taken to withdraw the equipment.

It was reported last week that the CCTV cameras had been removed by Police Scotland, against the wishes of local officers, only two months after they were brought onto the beat.
A source revealed that the devices had been recalled by senior bosses amid concerns they were being operated without the necessary permissions, but there were suggestions they may be rolled out in the Central Belt instead.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “This was a small amount of legacy equipment formerly used by another department as part of a trial, but which is not considered fit-for-purpose and was only used for a few weeks by a small number of officers.
“The cameras are not being used at the moment and will not be used by any other department.”
Confirming they may be reintroduced, but unable to provide a timescale for this, he added: “Police Scotland is aware of the advantages of bodyworn cameras and is currently looking to see how these can be introduced as part of a national strategy, which is still being developed.”
The small, lightweight cameras were initially introduced in Dumfries two months ago and three units were secured for Annandale and Eskdale.
They have been used in Annan, Gretna and Langholm to record evidence of crimes, while the technology has been effective in different parts of the country for the past ten years – including at football games and concerts.
Meanwhile, Annandale South councillor Richard Brodie is calling on fellow members of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s police, fire and rescue sub committee to appeal for the equipment to be reinstated.
He said: “It is interesting that local commander Mike Leslie has confirmed that the cameras cannot be used because there is no national policy to follow.
“It is a disgrace that they have had to be put in a cupboard in the meantime, but I suppose it is inevitable when you create a huge body like Police Scotland which can’t respond effectively to local needs and gets bogged down with unnecessary red tape.”

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