Cheshire West and Chester Counci is asking residents for their views on the use of body cameras.
The eight-week consultation comes ahead of the council’s civil enforcement officers (CEOs) starting to use body wearable video cameras across the borough over the summer.
CEOs mainly enforce parking restrictions, although they are also sometimes involved in other enforcement work, including Blue Badge fraud.
A small number of cameras are already occasionally used by other council officers who enforce criminal legislation concerning littering and dog fouling.
Studies have shown that the use of body cameras actually prevent incidents escalating, as they encourage people to moderate their behaviour and deter abuse and aggression.
They also provide evidence of any abuse or aggression that has taken place.
Cheshire West and Chester Council hopes that the use of the cameras will assist in reinforcing the public’s confidence in its officers and in its investigation of complaints about officers by improving transparency and accountability.
Focus groups seeking views will be conducted at locations across the borough, in addition to the consultation which will run until June 24.
Cllr Mark Henesy, cabinet member for environment and community, said: “The council is committed to the principle that no member of the public should be recorded by a body camera without being fully aware that it is taking place.
“The cameras will not be on all the time and our officers will tell individuals when they are recording and when they are about to switch off the camera.
“It is our belief that to have the cameras ‘always on’ would put people off speaking to our officers; we don’t want that to happen. They often help with other issues when they are out and about, like giving directions to visitors who are lost.
“Residents attending our focus groups, as part of this consultation, will hear about a number of case studies and situations where the use of cameras was beneficial to all parties.”
Body cameras have been in use in the UK since 2005 and are now used by many police forces, local authorities and ambulance services.
All footage obtained will be kept on a secure system and will be deleted after 31 days if it is not needed for evidence.
To take part in the consultation, click here .