POLICE BODY-WORN CAMERAS TO BOOST COMMUNITY SAFETY

Police in Melbourne’s north will be patrolling with body-worn cameras to better respond to and investigate crime thanks to a multi-million-dollar investment from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Police Lisa Neville launched the first stage of the Victoria Police state-wide roll out of body worn cameras this week, which will see 150 cameras deployed this month. The roll out went live on Wednesday with police in Epping wearing the devices.

The new small, battery‐powered cameras will be worn on the uniform of general duties police officers as part of a six-week pilot of the new technology.

Information from the trial will help inform police policies and procedures ahead of the full rollout of 11,000 cameras to police officers working in the community right across Victoria by 2020.

The investment is a part of the Government’s record $227 million technology investment, which is modernising police technology through the delivery of a new intelligence system and the ongoing rollout of iPads to police and Protective Service Officers (PSOs).

Recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence called for the trial and evaluation of body worn cameras to collect statements from victims to use as evidence in court.

The cameras will help strengthen community safety, and help to improve transparency and accountability in police interactions with the public. They can be used to capture audio and video interactions between police officers and members of the public and real‐time capture video evidence at the scene of a crime.

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.

The technology will support the Labor Government’s more than $2 billion police investment, which includes a record recruitment of 3135 new police.