Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"
Although I haven't been a plod for a looong time I can think of many reasons you'd turn it off. Shock horror these are because they're not automatons and actually do human stuff like:
- Go to the toilet
- Eat at KFC
- Take personal breaks, smoke a cigarette, take a phone call and usually not in the station
Add to the fact that sometimes your shift is extended when you might make an arrest late in the shift (and processing time can vary, but can go upwards of 6 hours on a busy night) you'll run into battery/storage issues quite quickly.
People forget policing is actually walking/driving around with nothing happening 50% of the time, then the 10% of the time something happens makes you fill out paperwork for the last 40% of your time.
To relate to the article, even Airwave radios have a typical battery life of 12 hours. Some shifts that got extended I remember being quite nervous since my battery was low. Add to this they are useless underground and even in some police stations (Acton station in West London for example didn't work ) then they definitely need an overhaul.