TECHNOLOGY firm Axon has been awarded a £505,000 contract by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) to supply officers with body-worn video (BWV) cameras in time for COP26.

Police Scotland firearms officers will be equipped with the Axon Flex 2 point of view camera (below) ahead of the major climate conference which comes to Glasgow in October and November. The introduction of BWV will bring the Scottish force in line with other services following Chief Constable Iain Livingstone’s support for their deployment.

The National:

Assistant Chief Constable Kenny MacDonald said: “Armed policing remains an area of high risk and understandable public scrutiny, and as such the roll-out of body worn video will help improve transparency and accountability.

“The safety of our officers and staff as well as that of the public remains paramount in our decision to introduce this technology.

“The use of BWV aims to lead to greater transparency, reduce and resolve complaints, as well as reducing delays to the justice system.

“While this is not new technology, and every other armed policing unit in the UK uses body-worn cameras, it is a significant introduction for Scottish policing.

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“As such, our public engagement survey for wider use by frontline officers is essential to ensuring people have a voice and it will help us gather and address any ethical and community-related concerns where possible.”

An online survey by Police Scotland in February asked the public about their views on armed officers using BWV to record certain incidents, with nearly 9000 responses.

A separate national consultation is under way on plans to introduce BWV to more police officers and staff across Scotland.

Martyn Evans, SPA chairman, said: “The authority supports fully the roll-out of BWV to Police Scotland’s armed officers in advance of the COP26 conference.”