Stuart Ayres med rel: Body worn video for frontline police

Stuart Ayres med rel: Body worn video for frontline police

4The NSW Parliament has passed a Bill giving frontline police the power to use body worn video (BWV) cameras in a range of operational situations.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres said the roll-out of body worn videos will have benefits for not only police, but the criminal justice system and the wider community.

“These cameras will equip our police officers on the frontline with the most modern of technology to accurately capture and record events as they unfold,” Mr Ayres said.

“Generally, police will use these devices when interacting with the public and when, for example, they have to exercise a police power, such as a search or an arrest.

“As an evidence gathering tool, they will be used on the same occasions as when police record something in their police notebook.”

Overseas jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom and some US states, have reported benefits such as:

o earlier guilty pleas and better conviction rates

o a reduction in assaults on police officers and complaints against police officers

o a reduction in police time spent on paperwork, meaning more time spent on mobile and foot patrol

o more public confidence in law enforcement by increasing police transparency and accountability.

In May, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government announced $4 million over two years to fund body worn videos for frontline police.

“I’m pleased NSW will be taking the lead in Australia to give our frontline police officers the tools they need to combat crime in our modern society,” Mr Ayres said.

New South Wales Police Force will now proceed with a tender process with an initial roll-out of the cameras scheduled for July 2015. Priority will be given to the Public Order and Riot Squad, Police Transport Command and other highly mobile frontline officers.

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