Armed police to wear head-mounted cameras, after watchdog found body cameras were blocked by officers' guns

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London’s firearms officers are to be kitted out with head-mounted cameras, the Met Police has said.

The cameras are being issued to officers from the Met’s Firearms Command, and will be fitted to their baseball caps and ballistic helmets.

The move follows a warning by the police watchdog that the body-mounted cameras given to thousands of the capital’s police were unfit for use by police marksmen since whenever they raised a rifle to their shoulder, the camera’s view was obscured.

About 1,000 Avon Flex 2s will be issued as part of the Met’s wider project to fit London police with body-mounted video technology, in which 17,500 cameras have already been handed out.

Body-mounted video tech has already been given to frontline officers in 30 of the capital’s 32 boroughs in the Roads and Transport Policing Command, the Territorial Support Group and the Dog Support Unit.

Police in the remaining boroughs will be fitted out by the end of August.

Commander Matt Twist, in charge of the Firearms Command, said firearms officers welcome the cameras.

“It provides a documented and accurate account of the threats officers face and the split second decisions they make,” he said.

“The cameras also offer greater transparency for those in front of the camera as well as those behind it.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the technology will allow greater trust to be built between Londoners and their police force.

“This technology is helping to drive down complaints against officers across London and will make a real difference to those carrying firearms, increasing accountability and helping to gather better evidence for swifter justice,” he said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission found that shoulder-mounted cameras were “unfit for purpose” by firearms officers when it was revealed that footage taken from two incidents was useless since the gun itself blocked the view.

Body-worn video is intended to restore confidence in policing after the controversy following the shooting of Mark Duggan in August 2011.

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