back to article Police headcams burst into flames

The news that Metropolitan police officers patrolling the nation's capital may soon carry GPS tracking equipment has been overshadowed by shock revelations that uniform-mounted video cams have "caught fire" in use. The news comes courtesy of the Metropolitan Police Federation, the equivalent of a union for the lowest four …


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  1. Elmer Phud


    Cop-Cam Conflagration Conundrum Confirmed.

    This would be far better viewing than the cop-cam stuff on telly where they set up a heavy-duty 'raid on a drug dealer' and get a couple of spliffs and a needle.

  2. Jon Wilson
    Thumb Up

    Proper classic British understatement

    "But a couple of them have caught fire, which isn't ideal."

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  4. john loader

    It's selective

    They only burst into flames when the wearer is hitting a demonstrator

  5. Anonymous Coward


    It's down to all these hot-headed coppers they take on these days.

  6. Georgees


    How very battle royale of the government.

  7. Martin Lyne

    Are we sure

    Are we sure they didn't just set them aflame to destory evidence gathering equipment before doing something "naughty".

    The TV Show Idael's cop for instance. Or battering a protester or something.

  8. Christoph

    Good excuse

    So where is your cop-cam record of what happened when this innocent passer-by dropped dead a few minutes after you 'gently nudged' him?

    Oops, sorry your honour, my camera mysteriously went on fire.

    So what about the video taken by the witness?

    Yes your honour, we nicked him straight away for the crime of filming the police, and destroyed the illegal video.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Whilst investigating anti government comments left on a website if suspect happens to receive a good kicking, then the cameras spontaneously leek petrol and burst into flames!

  10. Carl 4


    Someone's going to get fired for this?

    I'll get mine

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Is that ....

    a case of assault and battery (groan)

  12. RainForestGuppy
    Black Helicopters

    A policeman's lot is not a happy one

    Do the camera's have selective "Fallen down the stairs filtering technology" TM (Pat Pending)

  13. Smarty Pants
    Big Brother


    shouldnt this be in ROTM? also when are the person location systems going to be issued to all - nothing to fear nothing to hide?

  14. Dale 3


    Please could we all start gently encouraging people to stop using the now-greatly overused "does what it says on the tin" expression. It is old and tiresome. Besides, hardly anything comes in tins any more.

  15. Chris C

    In recent times

    "It would seem that even police headcam equipment isn't immune to the sort of heat issues which have bedevilled other items of modern technology in recent times."

    The key phrase there is "in recent times". Is it just my poor memory, or has spontaneous combustion of batteries and power bricks only become a problem in the past few years? It's not like the devices are using more power than similar devices in the past, and it's not like we haven't been using the same technology in millions of devices for over a decade. So is there really a product or technology problem, or is it all down to defective workmanship and/or materials in an effort to cut cost?

  16. Fab De Marco


    Another example of living in the fear that the technology supplied to civil servants was provided by the lowest bidder.

    Wonder how effective them stab proof vests are?

  17. Dan 10

    operating safely while driving

    Is this why I saw a copper driving while using a mobile the other day?!

  18. Jelliphiish
    Black Helicopters


    Footage would be subject to availability under the FOI. much like being caught on MOD cameras when stood outside their establishments.. Mark Thomas i'm looking at you.. there's a new sport right there..

    Anybody else thinking the police setup in Halting State is the next step from this? Testemony submitted by webcam and email pleas on plaintiff's behalf..

  19. JohnG

    Heat dissipation following CPU upgrade

    The helmets obviously couldn't take such a substantial increase in processing power with the video units installed.

  20. Fogcat


    Playmobil... or it didn't happen

  21. kevin biswas

    'Ring Of Fire'

    I hope for the sake of a certain small segment of the perviverse that the head-cam technology doesn't turn out to be a slightly modded derivative of the butt-cam.

    Flames, of course :-)

  22. Stephane Mabille


    Sounds like the convenient first step for the "sorry we don't have any picture", after the Tube CCTV were not working, we lost the tape, there is no CCTV in the City and we were not there....

    And we should seriously trust those guys to protect us... They lost my confidence a long time ago!

    Yes it's probably a few rotten apples but if you hide them at the bottom of the basket after a while the whole thing just stinks!

  23. Ralphe Neill

    assault and battery (groan)

    Put him in a dry cell!

  24. Andrew Baines Silver badge

    Been a problem for a long time

    Am I the only one old enough to remember using a milk tetra pak to keep a ZX80 cool enough?

  25. Rod MacLean

    RE: assault and battery (groan)

    "Put him in a dry cell!"

    Even then you'd eventually have to charge him.

  26. Dex


    .....Smokey bacon anyone?

    Mines the one with the pack of Walkers in the pocket

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  28. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Well if you do come across a flaming bobby..

    Thats a policeman with his helmet on fire and not your gay friend robert in that speical way..

    It is still an offence to knock his hat off, so you may as well point and laugh.

    *\. BB is watching you, if you've nothing to hide you've nothing to fear, but plenty to laugh at.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Feature not a bug

    people just complain at the drop of a hat nowadays.

  30. Stevie


    Clearly the headcam company is secretly hoping for a full-copper burnout so they may rebuild the remains as Roborozzer, cybernetic policing for the 21st century.

  31. David 45


    It's the flashing blue lights on their helmets that drain power.........and.........ka-boom! One headless bobby.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Rod MacLean

    Posting as AC for obvious reasons

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re:assault & battery (groan).

    ...and put him in ions.

  34. CircleOfConfusion


    "Am I the only one old enough to remember using a milk tetra pak to keep a ZX80 cool enough?"

    I went down the frozen pastry route....

  35. Trokair 1

    RE: assault and battery (groan)

    Put him in a dry cell!"

    "Even then you'd eventually have to charge him."

    It's frivolous cases like this that drain taxpayer's money.

  36. Doogs

    RE: assault and battery (groan)

    Should have used copper tops. Maybe it was a glitch in the Matrix...

  37. Mr Larrington

    There is here... opportunity for a Michael Jackson joke but I'll stick with The Ruts' "Babylon's Burning" for now.

  38. GrahamT

    Plod Cam

    If they had given iPods to the Christian element of the Old Bill instead of cameras, would they be the Plod Pod God Squad?

  39. Anonymous Coward

    re:operating safely while driving

    My favourite was the copper pulled into the hard shoulder to answer a mobile, aren't hard shoulders for emergency use ?.

    Also REALLY funny is the convertibles in the rain sticking there hazards on and slamming into the hard should to put there roofs up.

    And while i'm having a moan, all the fooking idiots driving with one hand and flicking fag ash out of the window, knobs, use your ash tray and pollute your own fricking car.

  40. Fred 1

    Apologies to Arthur Brown

    I am the plod of hellfire, and I bring you FIRE, I want you to burn

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  42. Anonymous Coward

    re: Nokia E7

    Cor they could stick em in a holder in wooden tops helmets, knock a coppers hat off and get a free E71

  43. Tom Chiverton 1
    Big Brother

    " plod-cams to provide an unarguable record "

    I can only assume it's unarguable only because no one has tried yet - is it not the case that the officer can start/stop the recording at any point, and the the video is stored un-checksumed in the clear on a memory stick, with a forgeable date/time stamp ?

  44. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Solo Patrolling?

    "Smyth also said that technology wasn't always helpful in the matter of solo patrolling. He said that police vehicles now have so much gear in them that it's "just not possible" for a single officer to handle it all and drive safely at the same time."

    Surely solo patrolling is such a bad idea that not being able to operate all the equipment is the least of the problems with it.

  45. Enigma9

    Exploding Bobby

    Hahaha, it's against regulation to be smoking on duty!

  46. not'known@this.address

    Field of view?

    Is it just me, or do the shoulder-mounted camera sseem to be pointing the wrong way for most of the time? The film I've seen from the vest cams seems to end up facing about five feet to the left of whatever or whoever is in front of the occifer involved...

    Still, at least this would allow ITV to cut their budget but still produce The Bill - they could do away with the camera crews and sound techs and just use BobbyCam instead!

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