back to article UK police want to Airwave hello to some more mobile devices – survey

UK police might not agree on how to measure the success of technology used on the beat, but three-quarters of them want better mobile kit - and more of it. According to a survey of 100 "IT decision makers" at UK police forces, commissioned by Computacenter, one of Europe's largest box shifters, 74 per cent of bobbies on the …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

    Um, I would think that, if you have a bodycam and you're on duty, it is on.

    Let me be more specific : if you have a bodycam and you're outside the precinct, it is on.

    There should be no choice.

    1. wyatt

      Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

      The cameras only have a finite amount of storage, cameras are only activated (should be..) as per the force policy. Once they're full then they need to be docked and the footage downloaded, if it is to be kept.

      1. Gordon861

        Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

        The default position should be that the camera is turned on when interacting with the public, if it is to be turned off there should be a clear discussion/agreement with the member of the public that the camera is being turned off.

        Also, storage should not be a problem, a 32/64GB memory card should cover a whole shift in HD quality. The bigger problem will be battery life, perhaps a charging station in the car would solve that problem when they are mobile?

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

          Really simple: when a body cam is switched on there is a blue circle LED flashing.

          Boris Johnson and his girlfriend told me that one :)

      2. wyatt

        Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

        Here's the Met Polices BWV page:

        http://www.met.police.uk/bwv/

        Other forces may have different policies.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

      And what if I'm on a toilet break?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        toilet break

        the same way your told don't wear the body armour in the toilet as your colleagues have to wear it

        YOU TAKE IT OFF and leave it with your partner standing outside or hang it up in the station, you DO NOT turn it off

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: toilet break

          "It's been a while since the UK police could rely on having 'a partner'". I Think the last was in Dixon on Dock Green.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

      "Let me be more specific : if you have a bodycam and you're outside the precinct, it is on."

      Consider you own job - are there times when you would be unhappy to record a full working day?

      I'm not thinking of the police trying to cover up anything, just that people aren't robots and somethings are easier to not record than explain.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          uniform ?

          if your wearing a uniform you should have the camera on

          simple rule and works

          - Go to the toilet -> like the Stab vests you take it off and have someone hold it

          - Eat at KFC -> eating with the uniform on then guess what camera on...

          - Take personal breaks, smoke a cigarette, take a phone call and usually not in the station - outside the station on the job, camera on

          honestly its not that hard and it being on prevents abuse, the moment you allow people to turn it off they will at the crucial moment...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: uniform ?

            Lol - clearly someone who's never worn a stab vest + the billion things attached to it...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

          >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.

          When body cameras are always on we'll have much better data on the balance of activity and lack thereof in some cases. Granted this level of scrutiny will lead to a deal of dead wood leaving the service - but there's no shortage of people waiting to join.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

            "but there's no shortage of people waiting to join"

            People wanting to join, perhaps. Suitable candidates wanting to join, no.

        3. Roland6 Silver badge

          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.

          Looking at the Met Police BWV, it would seem their default is for the cameras to be permanently on - retaining 30 sec of video in a loop buffer. This video only getting saved/recorded if the officer enables the record function.

          I suspect one of the reasons is that the act of turning on the record function is a visible sign and potentially a deterrent, based on the assumption that in general it is the public who kick off more than the police. Plus it gives the officer an opportunity to check their camera is working ie. the lights are on.

          One aspect that doesn't seem to be covered by the MPS-BWV notes are who can delete the video footage, I would hope that all footage has to be uploaded at the end of a shift to be reviewed/held for n days and only getting automatically deleted on completion of this task.

      2. adam 40

        Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

        >> somethings are easier to not record than explain. <<

        D'oh! THat's why they have the cameras, the bizzies have had trouble explaining things in the past!

  2. s. pam
    Holmes

    Its really disturbing (and sad!)

    When a RTA happens and the Plod take photos with their persona mobiles and email it to work because they ain't got the kit.

    Sack all the luvvie firms snorting up the cash might help the Boys in Blue have some half decent kit!

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Its really disturbing (and sad!)

      Provided it it not used to turned off at inconvenient moments (see US forces and shootings)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its really disturbing (and sad!)

      If a plod is taking a footage with his/her phone then needs to stop now.

      Crap happens and the bosses are taking your equipment as evidence. Bye bye to the shiny iPhone 6S they had to save for 2 years to buy it.

      I certainly never used my phone for that.

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