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Highland Police want body cameras due to the 'highest rate of assaults' in Scotland

By Scott Maclennan

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Cops in the Highlands want cameras like these seen on West Midlands Police for protection.
Cops in the Highlands want cameras like these seen on West Midlands Police for protection.

Police in the Highlands want body cameras and more Taser training because they endure the “highest rate of assaults against officers per head within Police Scotland.”

In a briefing to Highland councillors, Chief Superintendent Robert Shepherd said: “Assaults against officers continue to be at an unacceptable level.”

Due to that, the Highlands and Islands north divisional bosses have asked to be first in line for new camera equipment as it is rolled out nationally, after Police Scotland concluded its procurement process.

In the report to the local authority, Ch Supt Shepherd stated: “An assault against a police officer is an assault against society and should not be tolerated by any of us. With that in mind, I have volunteered north division to be the pilot division within Police Scotland for officers to wear and utilise body worn cameras.”

He went on to outline some of the issues in the north, including “geography and our dispersed workforce” that make officers particularly vulnerable to attacks so more Taser training would also be provided to help officers as well as communities.

“Given our high level of police assaults, our geography and our dispersed workforce we’ve been championing north division to be the first for the rollout of body-worn video,” he said.

“I hope it will be successful and our officers in the Highlands will be among the first to be armed with this really important technology. There are a number of reasons behind that and that obviously includes our dispersed policing model, but there are actions we are taking against that.

“We have got 40 extra Taser courses this year and a recognition that we need our Tasers to be more widely spread and more Tasers at each site so more officers have that very important equipment.”

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