back to article Plods to get helmet cams

Police officers are to be equipped with head cameras under the government's latest crime fighting initiative. The Home Office is to provide £3m to equip police forces across the country with head camera technology, following successful trials in Plymouth. It said an evaluation of the pilot run by Devon and Cornwall …


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  1. andy

    who controls the watchers?

    So when plod is wandering around the park in the summer they won't be recording the sunbathers? To watch later when they're eating doughnuts? Is it any co-incidence that there are more helicopters hovering overhead when it's sunny and everyone is out in their gardens?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    some safeguards please...

    So the officer can select what is recorded and when.

    That doesn't sound to wise to me.

    These devices should be on all the time and the recording media sealed against any tampering.

    Or else you might get to see a hoddie being asked a few question and give the office some grief, followed by static then same hoddie with a few cuts and bruises and official sounding voice warning about falling down stairs.

    We all think a few oiks who could do with "falling down the stairs" but the fact is if you are going to have these technologies in use, the public need to trust them and that should mean the same rules which go with recording police interviews should apply to any type of police recording.

  3. Gabor Laszlo

    Treat as evidence

    I suppose all footage would be, ergo making copies for "personal use" could be difficult and get a body in some trouble. If the stats are correct, it sounds like a really good idea.

  4. Ian Hunter


    There goes my old jape of when the police officers ask I have anything to say, I won't be able to reply "please don't hit me again officer".

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Police + cameras = YouTube!

    Sorry being cynical there - the ability to have an on-the-spot recording will obviously be a major breakthrough in policing and Crimewatch viewing figures alike...

    ...unless of course during the struggle the defendent accidentally slips on a bar of soap whilst showering, falls down a flight of stone steps and repeatedly impales himself on a railing - wherupon (almost inevitably) the hard disk will be found to be corrupt.

    Will these cameras have a little red light to tell you when they're recording?

  6. Steve Sherlock

    Data Protection Act

    What happens when 40,000 people from a footie match all decide to send in their £10 for a copy of the CCTV images they appear on, as I believe we're entitled to do under the DPA? That's gonna be a lot of man hours sifting through videos ;p

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why are people so worried about this? I can understand CCTV, but this?

    If there is acusations of Police brutality this will add to the evidence not take away from it. Perhaps life would be a little better if people wernt so anti police.

    People are starting to sound like Gang Thugs "Dont trust the pig's, don't tell dem nufink"

  8. neil

    Re : What?

    Hey anonymous,

    If you have nothing to hide and thus nothing to fear, why are you posting anonymously ?

  9. Matthew Robinson

    I can't believe it's not been said yet....

    Will they be called iPlods?

  10. Simon

    re: Data Protection Act

    Sadly the police are exempt from the DPA.

    Big brother is watching.

  11. Harry Stottle

    Next Step, make video Mandatory

    This is one of the things we're discussing in the "Identity and Trusted Surveillance" forum (Examples)


    The point I made there covers the objections made by Mike Richards and one anon contributor. viz:

    "These devices should be on all the time and the recording media sealed against any tampering."


    "...unless of course during the struggle the defendent accidentally slips on a bar of soap whilst showering, falls down a flight of stone steps and repeatedly impales himself on a railing - wherupon (almost inevitably) the hard disk will be found to be corrupt."

    The solution is

    1) make video recording mandatory - in the sense "no video, no charge"

    2) capture the video to an immutable audit trail so it cannot be tampered with (without detection) and

    3) ensure that every second of the video is accounted for.

  12. Keith Turner


    Camera lens sticking out of a pointy hat.

    Hat is on top of body of authority.

    This makes it easier to deal with unwanted behaviour.

    Give it a few years and a bit of Darwin. . .

    verily, 'tis RoboCop


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re Re: What.


    Like putting a name on here means anything. You can put any name on here. I dont put mine on because I have hade someone in the past take a dislike to me ans systamaticly flame every post I have made.

  14. Mike Moyle

    Re: I can't believe it's not been said yet....

    "Will they be called iPlods?"

    Best laugh I've had all day - Thanks Matthew!

  15. Vernon Lloyd

    Well, how about some positives.....

    First, if someone is robbing your house and the bobby comes along and takes film of them leaving the scene, you would be happy knowing that you would not have to remember the details of those people who have just robbed you.

    Second, if your spouse had just hit you for ten bells and the police had evidence themselves of the cuts and brusies it would make criminal proceedings a lot easier and less stressful for the victims.

    It may be time to trust the police, these cameras would make criminal proceedings a lot quicker and save joe (and Joan) public a lot of money in saved resources.

    I know that Big Brother is watching our every move, but in the places with odvious CCTV and police going around with cameras on their heads may help reduce crime in your area. Come on people lets at least give it a chance, at least the police are trying new ideas to stay ahead. With the government asking them to literally spend one third of their time filing paperwork, it is not always the bobbys fault when your crime goes unnoticed or unsolved.

    Its time people writing on this look at life with the glass is half full attitude.

    Rant over ;-)

  16. Marco

    Funniest police home videos

    How long until the first videos of Constable Bladder using a toilet show up on YouTube?

  17. Haku

    Quality of recording?

    If they're continuing to use Archos devices for their helmet cams then the quality of the recording isn't that good in reality; Archos devices only record at a maximum resolution of 640x480 25fps non-interlaced, meaning when they plug in the Archos helmet camera (with Sony Super HAD 420 line 1/4" CCD hardware inside) they're losing over half the quality the camera is capable of.

    The Archos units takes the 720x576 interlaced PAL resolution input, discards half of the fields making it 720x288 and then scales it to 640x480, couple that with bitrates of the mpeg4 recording only reaching a maximum of 2500kbps and the quality is then dropped further.

    I can't deny it's a good idea in theory, but really they should equip them with better recording devices that are capable of full interlaced PAL resolution at a bitrate encroaching that of your average DVD.

  18. Colonel Panic

    Evidence yes - but only when it helps plod

    Something tells me that when a suspect gets beaten up, Plod-Cam will suddenly go on the fritz... or the tapes will get lost.

    Just ask a defence lawyer how many times CCTV goes missing when it would have backed up the defendant's story.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Come off it!

    Vernon, where do you live? Please let me know as I'd like to live nearby, where ...

    the Police are there at a house burglary instead of, maybe, arriving a day or two later

    the police are present at 'domestics' instead of saying "Sorry, we don't have the manpower to attend domestic situations."

    Oh, and I love the word "brusies" ... are they the nice ones that don't hurt so much?

    We've already seen plenty of instances where TV footage miraculously 'goes missing' when naughty coppers are involved ... football tragedies, Jean Charles deMenezes.

  20. Eduard Coli

    Can they shut them off? How is the footage edited?

    Maybe it is unrealistic considering the true uses for this kind of surveillance but at least there should be a CLEAR statement of fact regarding handling of the raw footage and punishments attached to tampering with this kind of evidence. I doubt it will ever happen and if it did it would be ignored. The real use for this system is to manufacture evidence not preserve it.


  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Data Protection

    Data Protection Act

    By SimonPosted Thursday 12th July 2007 14:32 GMT Sadly the police are exempt from the DPA.

    Someone should have told the nice young man who gave me a copy of my non existent police file from the PNC.And in response to people who ask why people post anonymously, the answer in many cases, mine included, is because we can. When so much information is being soaked up , the instinct of a lot of people is to say as little as possible. (Guess a trick cyclist could make a lot out of THAT one!)

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