A pilot project will see police officers equipped with body cams to help them in cases where they will require clear evidence where a member of the force is involved in an attack or other incident. Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia said that the body cams will first be used by traffic police and if the project is successful, this initiative will spread to other sections of the police force.
The police force will continue to provide its members with more resources and the first step will be to equip them with body cams.
Inspector Sergio Pisano, from the traffic division, told TVM that officers have wanted these cameras for a long time. He pointed out, however, that no member of the force will have access to this footage.
“Every member of the traffic division will be given a camera which will be recording the incident in order to increase their integrity and for their integrity to be protected, both of the police as well as the data itself. The officers will not have access to the data on this camera but only the central administrator will have this access.”
Minister Farrugia told TVM that these cameras will be used following the approval of the Data Protection Commissioner.
“We have been discussing the use of body cams with the Commissioner for a long time and now we have started this pilot project of 23 body cams which will be used by the traffic police.”
Minister Farrugia also said that the footage will be used if required as proof of arrest of a person or persons involved in a criminal case.
“What they will be recording at that particular time can be used as evidence when one charges a person in Court, as the footage can be used as part of the prosecution’s case,” said the Minister.
Minister Farrugia said that the cameras will not only defend the police, and provide clear evidence in the case of a police officer being attacked, but will also protect the public because it will make the police more accountable in the performance of their duties.