New body cameras for council officers in Northumberland

Gemma Fowle, animal welfare officer; Coun Liz Simpson, chairman of the Safer Northumberland Board; and Paul Turnbull, environmental enforcement officer.
Gemma Fowle, animal welfare officer; Coun Liz Simpson, chairman of the Safer Northumberland Board; and Paul Turnbull, environmental enforcement officer.
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Enforcement officers in Northumberland have started wearing chest-mounted cameras in an attempt to keep them safe while out and about.

Officers have started wearing the body-worn cameras to improve safety and to make providing evidence against offenders more efficient.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, which manages public protection, has purchased seven cameras which will be worn by staff including environmental enforcement officers and animal welfare officers.

Coun Elizabeth Simpson, chairman of the Safer Northumberland board and the county council’s deputy business chairman, said: “The new cameras will hopefully be a deterrent against unreasonable behaviour and will ensure transparency for both staff and residents.

"Our officers are out and about in the county everyday and they are sometimes subjected to offensive behaviour from members of the public. Having the new cameras will hopefully reduce these incidents as people are more likely to think about their actions if they know they’re being recorded.

"The cameras will also make providing evidence much more efficient meaning it will be quicker and more cost effective to prosecute offenders."

Cameras have already been adopted by other local authorities across England and Scotland.