Police Community Support Officers in Wrexham town centre are trialling new body cameras over concerns about people spitting at them.
Inspector Paul Wycherley said he is worried about the number of PCSOs who are being assaulted and spat at, and this has played a part in officers being equipped with the technology, initially on a trial basis.
He hopes the cameras will help combat crime and reduce the risk of officers being targeted while on duty.
He said he was particularly unhappy at the number of instances involving spitting and has vowed to clamp down on the problem, warning those who abuse his staff will be caught on camera.
He said: “It is absolutely disgusting.
“My officers have started wearing body camera devices to further protect them and provide excellent evidence to the courts.
“There was an incident last week, on May 14, at 4pm. PCSO Valerie Worth detained an individual involved in a theft, and was waiting for other officers to arrive.
“This individual decided to trip her up and spat in the face of another officer. That individual has since been detained and charged.”
He added: “Assaults of this nature on our staff will not be tolerated under any circumstances and we’re grateful to the criminal justice system for dealing with these offenders so swiftly.”
There have been a number of examples heard in court of offenders who have spat at police officers.
On April 5, Sophie Elisha Russell, pleaded guilty to spitting at officers before cracking a door frame at Wrexham Police Station’s toilets, in addition to possession of a controlled substance.
In March at Wrexham youth court, a 17 year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted spitting at a policeman after fleeing from officers on a stolen motorbike and leading them in a dangerous high-speed chase.
Acting sergeant Wesley Williams has been actively involved in implementing the use of the cameras and said there are more widespread benefits to the technology in helping police bring people to justice.
He said: “They are very useful when arrests are made, for various types of incident, such as domestic assaults.
“Not all officers are wearing them at the moment, but if they prove successful, hopefully they will be here to stay.”
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