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Police trial: Armed officers will wear video cameras

TRUST DEFICIT: Met commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, left, and Mark Duggan

METROPOLITAN POLICE commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe will trial video camera technology for armed officers after recognising the death of Mark Duggan has led to a "significant reduction" of trust in the black community.

The announcement comes after angry reaction to the lawful killing verdict on Mark Duggan being shot dead by armed officers.

He also appealed to community leaders to help work with police, wanting “to build trust and confidence” in the capital’s force.

In a statement issued after the inquest jury yesterday (Jan 8) delivered its conclusion that police had lawfully killed Duggan, despite him having no gun in his hand, the police boss said: “I welcome the verdict of a jury that our officers acted lawfully when they confronted an armed criminal who they believed posed a threat to them and to the public.

“But I recognise that some in the community are still angry at Mr Duggan's death.

“In particular, I know that we have much work to do with black Londoners to build trust and confidence in the Metropolitan Police.

“We are already working with communities across our great city to achieve that, and we now appeal to all local leaders to help us in that. We know it will take time. We know it won't be easy.”

Hogan-Howe mentioned how he is working on “reducing the disproportionate numbers of black and Asian men stopped by my officers”, but added: “We need to do more, much more, to improve our relationships with black Londoners.”

On the subject of introducing technology to ensure officers are more accountable for their actions when on duty, the Met chief said: “We'll begin a trial this year in which firearms officers are issued with body-worn video cameras to record the actions of officers and those they are dealing with.

“We want to see if this is an effective way to record evidence and ensure public confidence.”

Hogan-Howe added that today (Jan 9) he would meet with “some of the capital's political representatives, and local community leaders from Tottenham” to talk about working on building trust in the future.

Duggan was shot dead by armed police in August 2011 and his death led to riots in London and England that summer.

The inquest jury established to investigate the truth behind what happened before Duggan was killed in Ferry Lane, Tottenham, north London, concluded officers acted lawfully, but found he was shot dead while carrying no firearm.

Members of the Duggan family have expressed shock and anger about the verdict, and have said they will continue to fight for justice.

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