Council forks out thousands to upgrade body-worn cameras for enforcement officers

Council enforcement officers on Mare Street. Photograph: Hackney Citizen

Hackney Council is spending thousands to update the body-worn cameras used by enforcement officers to film on-street incidents.

The borough’s community safety team predicts an overspend of £14,000 to pay for the upgrades.

In agenda papers released ahead of next Monday’s cabinet meeting, a paragraph reads: “Community Safety, Enforcement and Business Regulation (CSEBR) is forecasting a small overspend of £14k which is due to an upgrade of body cameras for all enforcement officers which will enable on street recording of enforcement incidents.”

Enforcement officers are tasked with tackling anti-social behaviour in the borough.

They are able to dish out Community Protection Notices (CPNs), Closure Orders for premises that are causing a nuisance and Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs).

But a spokesperson for the Town Hall told the Citizen: “This list is not exhaustive and, in addition, enforcement officers have a number of powers relating to environmental anti-social behaviour, including littering and urination.”

They added: “Responses can range from on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notices to more complex case management, depending on the power and the circumstances.

“Enforcement officers also have an important role in supporting the broader Community Safety, Enforcement and Business Regulation Service, which includes licensing, food safety and trading standards.”

At a Town Hall briefing last year about anti-social behaviour in public spaces, the Citizen asked community safety chief Cllr Caroline Selman what powers were available to enforcement officers.

Selman said she would have to get back to us with the details, but that “the fact that they wear hi-vis jackets gives them a certain degree of authority”.