U.K. police trial vest-mounted cameras


LONDON -- London's police department said Thursday it was rolling out vest-mounted video cameras to some of the capital's 2,300 firearms officers, hoping to help build public confidence in the force by allowing jurors and judges to literally see things from an officer's perspective.

The announcement came a day after an inquest jury largely vindicated London police over the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Mark Duggan triggered rioting across England more than two years ago. The case, and its controversial conclusion, raised familiar questions about whether armed police are too quick to shoot, and whether they can be held accountable if they are.

Speaking late Wednesday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said the cameras experiment was an attempt to improve transparency and restore public trust.

"We want to see if this is an effective way to record evidence and ensure public confidence," he said in a statement.

A police spokesman said Thursday that armed officers will begin wearing recording devices April 1.

Police forces across the world have been experimenting with portable cameras as tools for crime-fighting and police accountability. Cameras mounted on glasses, helmets, or vests are being trialed or distributed across the U.S. Several police forces across the U.K. are also trying out the devices.

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