Have you ever noticed how fashion-conscious European police hat wear is? Italian carabinieri have their ceremonial helmets with colorful plumes, the French gendarmes have their kepis, and Austrian police has a very stylish mountain cap. Now British traffic cops are adding an adorable hat-cam to their headwear, reports the Guardian.
Traffic wardens will be issued miniature cameras mounted on their hats in hopes that the new technology will help resolve disputes over parking tickets - and tickets for people who don't pick up after their dogs.
"The cameras will be crucial in gathering evidence on the circumstances of why a fixed penalty has been issued. Many disputes can often boil down to one person's word against another so we will now have the video evidence to help clear up any doubts. The technology will also act as a deterrent against attendants being assaulted or abused," said James Pritchard, a spokesman for NCP Services who contracts the wardens.
The images recorded by the camera automatically download onto a hard drive stored in the pockets of attendants. At the end of their shifts, traffic wardens must download the images to a computer, which can then be accessed if disputes arise over penalty notices.
The hat cams have some concerned over civil liberties.
"Whilst it's important that fixed penalties are issued correctly, it's essential that the use of cameras by wardens are stringently regulated and that data protection principles are complied with," said a spokesman from a civil liberties group.