YEP Says, May 27: Caught on camera as police turn to new technology

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SOME will regard the decision to equip police officers in Leeds with body-worn cameras as further evidence of a breakdown in trust between the police and those they serve.

SOME will regard the decision to equip police officers in Leeds with body-worn cameras as further evidence of a breakdown in trust between the police and those they serve.

However, while this experiment is part of a wider trial, early evidence from the United States suggests that the use of such technology can help to solve crime while also preventing disputes between police and the public from escalating.

The latter is particularly important – front line officers need to maximise the amount of time they spend solving, and preventing, crime rather than getting embroiled in protracted investigations about their conduct.

If this £2m investment in video cameras brings about the anticipated benefits, it should be viewed as money well spent – even more so if it minimises the need for officers to be equipped with firearms or other means of protecting themselves when patrolling our streets.

However West Yorkshire Police – and other constabularies – cannot escape the fact that they are under the microscope following a succession of scandals.

Trust has been eroded and a greater reliance on new technology must not stand in the way of police interacting with crime victims and the law-abiding public. Policing is invariably at its most effective in areas where officers enjoy a good dialogue with local residents.

Clean-up of leisure centres is long overdue

IN straitened times such as these, any spending by Leeds City Council will be open to scrutiny. However, the decision to commit £1.5m to upgrading Leeds’s leisure centres is a sound investment. Indeed, many will think they should be spending more.

The truth is that too many of the city’s leisure facilities are not up to standard and are a turn-off for anyone wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Changing rooms often feel dated and dirty with little or no improvements having been made in decades. While this work will help, it must be accompanied by more rigorous standards from the staff who maintain them.

1990: Vinnie and Batts in action against Luton Town.

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