Body cameras for police at Bunyip
Bunyip Police will be amongst an additional 800 police to be fitted out with body cameras by the end of this year.
Following an initial pilot in Ballarat and Epping, Victoria Police will roll out body worn cameras to police at an extra 59 stations by the end of the year following infrastructure upgrades to these stations.
A body worn camera is a tool worn on a police officer’s uniform which is used to record video and audio evidence.
By the end of this year, body worn cameras will be introduced to general duties and highway patrol police officers of the rank of sergeant at Bunyip, Pakenham and Koo wee rup stations.
Assistant Commissioner Russell Barrett said an evaluation of the new technology in Ballarat and Epping returned positive results.
“The introduction of body worn cameras is expected to deliver improved community safety, enhanced evidence gathering, increased police safety and accountability,” he said.
“We evaluated the initial roll out of cameras to Ballarat and Epping police stations in April to test whether the technology was being used correctly and to determine any areas for improvement.
“We found that the camera usage policies, infrastructure and training for police had worked well and police were comfortable using the technology within their first one or two shifts.
“Footage captured by the cameras within a six week period was instrumental in securing guilty pleas in at least four court cases, which is a great result for us,” Ass Cmr Barrett said.
Member for Eastern Victoria Region Harriet Shing said the cameras would be used to capture audio and video interactions between police officers and members of the public, as well as real?time capture of video evidence at the scene of a crime.
She said the cameras would help strengthen community safety and help to improve transparency and accountability in police interactions amongst the public.
Police will turn the cameras on whenever they are exercising police powers, collecting evidence or when it would provide transparency to a police interaction.
Strict laws were introduced last year to ensure adequate protections are in place against the unauthorised disclosure of footage.
“Body worn cameras will help strengthen community safety in Gippsland, improve evidence gathering, and increase accountability and better interaction between police and the community.”
“They have already led to quicker results through the courts and we expect these benefits will continue as they’re deployed to more and more frontline police.
“We’re giving police in Gippsland and across Victoria, the resources, powers and technology they need to target and investigate crime and support a safer Victoria,” Ms Shing said.
Victoria Police aims to have every general duties police and Protective Service Officer equipped with body worn cameras by 2020.