Police to quiz suspects on camera at crime scenes


Police are to use body cameras to interview suspects at crime scenes rather than at a police station, in a new trial, a senior officer has said.

Andy Marsh, the national policing lead for body-worn video (BMV), said he hoped the move would lead to "cheaper justice" but civil liberties campaigners have voiced concerns over the security of the video once it is stored.

Police forces are facing reduced budgets when funding is announced in Chancellor George Osborne's upcoming spending review.

Hampshire Police chief constable Mr Marsh told Sky News: "I am working closely with the Home Office and they have agreed in principle that we can run a pilot in a number of forces to see if we can effectively use the cameras to interview suspects of certain offences, other than at police stations.

"I think this will lead to swifter, fairer and more importantly cheaper justice."

Suspects are usually taken to a station for questioning following arrest and have the right to ask for legal advice. In most circumstances, officers must then wait until a detainee has had legal advice before they can carry out an interview.

The cameras would only be used for low-level offences such as shoplifting and anti-social behaviour, according to Sky News.

The use of the personal devices by police forces across the UK has increased in recent years, often being used to record incidents and collect evidence which could be used in court.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson confirmed in June that the Metropolitan Police would equip all its front-line officers with cameras, ordering around 20,000 to arrive by March next year.

As part of the Met's trial, 6,000 video clips were uploaded to servers every month, with those not marked as "evidential" being deleted after 30 days.

But Dan Nesbitt from Big Brother Watch called for more information about the latest move.

He told the broadcaster: "We also want to see very clear guidelines about where the information will be stored, who will have access to it and how long it's going to be kept for."