‘Head cams' will trap soccer thugs
SOCCER thugs face being caught on high-tech new cameras - mounted on police officers' heads.
The cutting edge "head cams" are the latest tool being used to tackle football-related violence and allow police to gather footage as events are seen by officers.
Police have used handheld video cameras at football matches but the new equipment will allow cops to shoot video and use their hands at the same time.
British Transport Police officers based in the North-west will use the cameras for the first time today at London's Euston Station where hundreds of Bolton Wanderers fans will pass through on their way to the club's away fixture at Charlton Athletic.
The camera records to a computerised hard-drive worn by the officer and police chiefs say trials have shown it to be particularly effective for dealing with large crowds and also has the ability to record in the dark with special night-vision technology.
Superintendent Graham Bamford of British Transport Police warned hooligans they were being watched.
"The new head-camera is yet another excellent tool at our disposal which will be particularly impactive when policing large crowds especially those travelling to and from football matches," he said.
"If people know we are watching and recording them they will hopefully think twice about their behaviour."
BTP cover hundreds of football matches in the North-west every year and will use the camera technology at high-profile fixtures where trouble is expected.
They have vowed to crack down on violence this year and arrested 60 people in and around railway stations last year.
Supt Bamford added: "We will not tolerate football related disorder in any form on the rail network.
"We hope the high visibility of officers and the introduction of new equipment, such as the head-camera, will deter and disrupt trouble makers ensuring that the majority of law abiding fans, and people who use the rail network, enjoy a trouble free weekend."