Epping police officers today became the first police in Victoria to be equipped with body worn cameras under a pilot program which will inform statewide deployment of the cameras.
The body cameras are worn on an officer’s uniform which is then used to record video and audio evidence.
Commander Russell Barrett said the body camera roll-out will provide a significant uplift in police capability.
“Police will be turning the cameras on whenever they are exercising police powers, collecting evidence or when it would provide transparency to a police interaction.
“This will include activities such as arresting someone, issuing an infringement, applying use of force or other activities that are within their powers … when cameras are recording as there will be a flashing red light.
“Police will not be able to delete or alter the footage and it will be stored for a minimum of 90 days unless flagged for future use as evidence,” Barrett said.
Next week Ballarat police will also be equipped with the technology under the pilot program.
The program will be used to evaluate the guidelines and policies and inform future deployments of cameras to all frontline police by 2020.
“We expect that the technology will deliver improved community safety, enhance evidence gathering, increased police safety and accountability.
“Body worn cameras are being used to great effect in other states such as Queensland and New South Wales and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits of this high-tech equipment in Victoria, Barrett said.
More information on the body camera project is available from the Victoria Police website http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=50039.