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Police: Cameras

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 286162, tabled on 3 September 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will ensure that courts view any body worn footage available in cases (a) of assaulting an emergency worker and (b) involving a police officer before the offender is sentenced; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

9 September 2019

The Government is committed to ensuring that emergency workers on the front line have the full protection of the law.

Evidence obtained from body worn video footage is admissible in court and, where available, can be used to support the prosecution’s case during trial.

If a defendant enters a guilty plea, the prosecution can invite the court to view footage taken from a body worn camera, alongside any victim impact statements, before sentencing. The court would have full discretion in determining whether to accept or reject the request.

The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 doubled the maximum penalty for those who assault emergency workers from six to 12 months in prison. Under the Act a court must also consider, for a range of offences, the fact that the offence was committed against an emergency worker as an aggravating factor meriting a more severe sentence.