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Highlands and Islands Police call for body cameras due to high number of assaults

Police in the Highlands and Islands want to be equipped with body-worn cameras due to a high number of assaults.

Divisional bosses have asked to be first in line as new camera equipment is rolled out nationally.

Ch Supt Robert Shepherd told Highland councillors attacks per officer were higher than anywhere else in Police Scotland.

The region’s police are also to receive more Taser training.

Police Scotland’s Highlands and Islands N Division covers a huge area and includes the Highlands, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.

At a meeting of Highland Council this week, Mr Shepherd said Police Scotland had recently finished a procurement bidding process for body-worn cameras.

He said: “Given our high level of police assaults, our geography and our dispersed workforce we’ve been championing N Division to be the first for the rollout of body-worn video.

“I hope it will be successful and our officers in the Highlands will be among the first to be armed with this really important technology.”

Currently officers in parts of north east Scotland have access to the small video recorders after they were tested there in 2013 and kept in use ever since.

The technology has been in use in England since 2016.

Mr Shepherd said more Taser training would also be provided in order to better protect officers and communities.

He said: “Our officers suffer more assaults on their person per officer than anywhere else in Police Scotland.

“There are a number of reasons behind that and that obviously includes our dispersed policing model, but there are actions we are taking against that.

“We have got 40 extra Taser courses this year and a recognition that we need our Tasers to be more widely spread and more Tasers at each site so more officers have that very important equipment.”

(Source: BBC)


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