Every frontline police officer is now equipped with a body worn camera, as Victoria Police announces the completion of the state-wide rollout.
Frontline police at the rank of Sergeant and below, Protective Services Officers (PSOs) and specialist units such as the Public Order Response Team, Dog Squad, Water Police, Mounted Branch and Highway Patrol are all now embracing the new piece of equipment.
A body worn camera is attached to a police officer’s uniform which is used to record video and audio evidence. The camera has a visible red flashing light when it is recording.
Police will start recording when:
• They are exercising police powers
• They are collecting evidence
• Recording would provide transparency to a police interaction
• They feel there is a need to record
Assistant Commissioner Russell Barrett said it was pleasing to see the way police and the community had responded to the cameras.
“We have been advocating for body worn cameras to be used by police in Victoria for a long time because we know they improve justice outcomes which lead to safer communities,” AC Barrett said.
“The benefits of body worn cameras are widespread, improving the processes for victims and witnesses of crimes, and the way police collect evidence.
“Throughout the past several months, many police officers have noted an increase in early guilty pleas which leads to faster and easier outcomes for victims and witnesses.
“Every police officer wearing a body worn camera has undergone training to ensure they know how and when to use the cameras in line with policy.
“We look forward to continuing to see the community, and our officers embracing the new piece of equipment.”
Footage captured on body worn cameras is stored for a minimum of 90 days, and if the footage is labelled as non-evidentiary it will then be deleted. If an offence is detected or footage is labelled as evidentiary, police may use that as part of an investigation or a brief of evidence supplied to the courts.