Body Worn Cameras
The Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management is undertaking a project to introduce Body Worn Cameras to all frontline police.
The Department aims to provide the most appropriate safety equipment and technology to officers to ensure the safest possible working environment.
This project is a significant step forward for Tasmania Police both in terms of providing a safe working environment and delivering operational efficiencies to officers on the frontline. The benefits include:
- Video of Public Order incidents can assist in resolving cases where drugs or alcohol may impact on the recollection of witnesses and offenders.
- The use of Body Worn Cameras has been shown to improve officer safety by changing offender behaviour, potentially reducing the incidents of assaults against police.
- The cameras can be used to record statements at an incident.
- Digital evidence from an incident will potentially increase guilty pleas by offenders, and reduce malicious complaints against officers.
- BWCs also contribute to a high level of professionalism and accountability.
Importantly, the use of video from BWC will be valuable in responding to Family Violence incidents. The video can be used as evidence, and victims can be video interviewed at the scene. This may lead to an increase in guilty pleas and avoid the necessity for victims to give evidence in court.
Tasmania Police is liaising with other jurisdictions in relation to the technology and will undergo a procurement process to procure the technology. This process will determine whether a trial is conducted prior to the full roll out over the next four years.
Operational guidelines will be developed in consultation with members to govern the appropriate use of the cameras.
It’s expected the first Body Worn Cameras will be rolled out later this year as part of a trial.