Lack of bodycams putting Scots prison staff ‘at unnecessary risk’

The Scottish Conservatives said the technology was already provided to every prison officer across the rest of the UK.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
The Scottish Conservatives said the technology was already provided to every prison officer across the rest of the UK. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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The Scottish Government has been accused of putting prison officers at unnecessary risk by not routinely providing body-worn cameras.

The Scottish Conservatives said the technology was already provided to every prison officer across the rest of the United Kingdom.

The party said the cameras were considered a to be a “visible deterrent” to disorder and violence against prison officers. They also provide evidence when required and support for prison officers in disputes.

Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary, said: “The SNP’s failure to provide body-worn cameras for prison officers in Scotland when they are provided to all other officers in the rest of the United Kingdom, is deeply irresponsible.

“Our prison officers work in extremely risky environments, and are often called upon to resolve disputes, many of which can, and do, turn violent.

“The cameras are recognised to be a hindrance to that violence, and so, by their very nature, provide prison officers with extra protection.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We value the work done by the staff of the Scottish Prison Service and we never take for granted the good order that is maintained in Scotland’s prisons, in contrast to elsewhere in the UK.

“We have received no funding request for body cameras from the Scottish Prison ­Service.”