HUNDREDS of firearms officers in Dorset are to be issued with body worn video cameras.

Police across the county will wear the cameras following a trial and public consultation.

The move will offer greater transparency, supporters say.

Alliance specialist operations Superintendent Nikki Leaper said: “For too long our equipment has lagged behind the technology almost everyone has in their pockets to capture events as they unfold.

"This technology enables our firearms officers to be able to record the very challenging circumstances they are asked to deal with on a daily basis and then demonstrate, more effectively, the reality of policing.

"It provides an opportunity for enhanced evidence capture and supports transparency trust and confidence in the police.”

The cameras were issued to 270 firearms officers from Dorset Police, as well as Devon and Cornwall Police.

They will be attached to officers' uniforms and will not permanently record.

All footage recorded will be uploaded to secure servers when officers return to their stations.

Video not retained as evidence or for a policing purpose is automatically deleted within 31 days.

Members of the public who wish to apply for footage taken of them must do so within that time.

Police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “I welcome this roll out to firearms officers, especially when events nationally show a clear expectation from the public and government that any police firearms deployment must be video recorded for post-incident scrutiny.

"Body worn video offers a fantastic tool to increase the evidence gathering ability of the police and provides a factual record of what an officer has experienced, making the police more transparent and officers’ actions more accountable.

"As part of my police and crime plan priority to transform for the future, I would like to oversee a wider roll out to all operational frontline officers during the course of my current term of office."