Body-worn cameras proposed for town centre staff

Published: Thursday, 22 September 2016

Northampton Borough Council is proposing to introduce body-worn cameras for town centre staff to help improve standards of safety and cleanliness in Northampton.

Neighbourhood Wardens, Park Rangers and Town Centre Operatives will be among those to be equipped with the cameras, similar to those used by police officers. 

The move forms part of the Borough Council’s comprehensive approach to improving the safety, cleanliness and maintenance of the town centre, and wider town. 

The proposals will be put before the General Purposes Committee next Thursday who will consider any contractual implications, before the final decision about whether to introduce the cameras is taken at a cabinet meeting in October. 
Cameras will be used to record individual incidents at the discretion of Council staff, who will receive comprehensive training before taking their cameras out. All operatives will be obliged to inform members of the public before switching on their body camera. 

Councillor Alan Bottwood, cabinet member for the environment, said: “The cameras will mainly be used by staff who work outdoors in the town centre. These are the people who help us to enforce policies and regulation that is there to keep Northampton a clean, safe and pleasant place to spend time. 

“The main purpose of introducing body-worn cameras is to make our staff safer and more effective. We hope the cameras will help to prevent and diffuse anti-social behaviours, as well as provide an excellent source of additional evidence in more severe cases.

“As the availability of this type of technology has improved, body-worn cameras are now a cost-effective tool that will support the many other ways that we work to ensure the safety and high standards of our town.”