Body worn video bolsters safety for police, community

THE roll-out of body worn video cameras in Chifley Police District this week has been welcomed by officers across the board, who say they will improve both officer and community safety.

ROLL OUT: Superintendent Paul McDonald, Commander of Chifley Police District, with Member for Bathurst, Paul Toole, and Sergeant Marita Shoulders, holding the body worn video, which has been rolled out in the district.

ROLL OUT: Superintendent Paul McDonald, Commander of Chifley Police District, with Member for Bathurst, Paul Toole, and Sergeant Marita Shoulders, holding the body worn video, which has been rolled out in the district.

Following a successful trial of body worn video camera technology in 2013 and 2014, body worn video was first supplied to frontline officers at Sydney’s Eastern Beaches in September 2015.

Body worn video is now being rolled out to more than 500 sites in metropolitan, regional and rural areas across the state.

The cameras, worn overtly on the officers’ uniform, are activated for use in operational policing to record incidents or events in real-time where visual and audio evidence will support an investigation.

Chifley Police District Commander, Superintendent Paul McDonald, said the cameras will be a positive support and complement other strategies to tackle crime.

“Body worn video will play an important part in our ongoing commitment to officer and community safety in the Chifley District,” Supt McDonald said.

“With millions of interactions between police and community members every year, the cameras will be an excellent tool to assist investigations by directly recording criminal behaviour and providing officers with a contemporaneous, unequivocal account of an incident.”

He said the uptake by officers has been fantastic, and said the video would be invaluable as evidence in court especially when offenders dispute what happened.

Sergeant Marita Shoulders described the body video as an asset for officers.

“The quality of the vision is amazing,” she said.

The ‘M-View Matrix’ camera records high-definition wide-view vision and high-quality audio, with a capability to take still photographs, record audio only and record in low-light.

The footage is encrypted and safely stored on the camera, and once downloaded onto the secure police database; all footage on the camera is erased.

Supt McDonald reassured the community officers have received training on the appropriate use of body worn video and members of the public will be informed if the camera is in use.