Hong Kong Police Force will start a six-month field trial of a body worn video camera project on March 11, to gauge its effectiveness in policing, said Chief Superintendent (Support) Patrick Hodson.
During the press conference on Friday 22, Hodson said that the force is continuously exploring ways to enhance police officers’ professional abilities to carry out its duty to prevent and detect crimes.
“Some police forces overseas have used the body worn video cameras with positive results in terms of crime reduction and complaints,” he said.
During the field trial, officers will use the video camera in confrontational scenarios, or incidents in which a breach of the peace has occurred or is likely to occur, according to him.
New Territories North and Kowloon West Region emergency units and the Hong Kong Island Police Tactical Unit will be involved in the trial.
Detailed standard operating procedures govern the camera’s use. Recordings made will be incident-specific. An officer using the camera will be in uniform wearing the camera with its display screen facing outward. Where practicable, the officer would notify a person before starting a recording of them.
Footage with investigative or evidential value will be kept for investigation and court proceedings. Once its purpose is fulfilled, the video will be destroyed. Recordings with no investigative or evidential value or other legitimate purpose will be deleted after 31 days from the date produced.
Only trained officers in uniform will be allowed to operate the body worn video camera and access the digital storage media during the trial period.
Any data access request from people who have been recorded will be processed under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance.
The force will conduct a review at the end of the field trial.
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