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NSW Police Force launches 'Body Worn Video'

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Published on Sep 16, 2015

NSW Police Force has started rolling out body-worn video cameras to frontline police, as part of an ongoing commitment to improving officer and community safety in NSW.

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Police, Troy Grant, and NSW Police Force Commissioner Andrew Scipione officially launched ‘Body Worn Video’ (BWV) today (Thursday 17 September 2015), at the first site for the rollout, Eastern Beaches Local Area Command.

From today, local police will wear the cameras on their uniform, allowing officers to record incidents or events where visual and audio evidence will support an investigation.

The new BWV cameras do not record all the time, instead, are activated for use in operational policing activities, or where recording is deemed in public interest.

Commissioner Scipione said BWV will provide a fully accountable record of interactions between police and the community.

“Our officers have millions of interactions with the community every year, and BWV will provide a record of the actions of both the officer and individuals they are engaged with,” the Commissioner said.

“The vision will essentially be used for evidence gathering to support prosecutions, but it will also allow police to analyse interactions, improve practices and support officer training and education.

“Local and international trials have noted other positive benefits of BWV, including lower incidence and escalation of violence, reduced officer injuries, reduced time spent on paperwork and increased time on patrol; enhanced brief of evidence preparation, and improved behaviour of both police and the public.

“BWV will hold everyone to account for their actions, including police. A picture is worth a thousand words, and if you’re recorded doing the wrong thing – no matter who you are – the evidence will be tough to dispute,” the Commissioner said.

There are five guiding principles, which form the basis for appropriate and lawful use of BWV, and include:

1. BWV camera equipment will be used by NSW Police in the lawful execution of their duties. Police will use their discretion when deciding to use it and its use will be obvious and overt.

2. Generally, BWV will be used by police to record events, incidents and evidence. However, there will be some instances where BWV should not be used and some occasions when its use may not be appropriate.

3. BWV supports conventional forms of evidence gathering, it does not replace them.

4. BWV recordings will be securely processed and managed in accordance with relevant legislation, policies, and procedures.

5. The NSW Police Force will provide general information to the community on the use of BWV by police.

Further information about BWV, including standard operating procedures are available to the community at the NSW Police Force website: www.police.nsw.gov.au.

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