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Victoria Police invests in police technology and rolls out trial on body worn cameras

Victoria Police invests in police technology and rolls out trial on body worn cameras

On
Feb 13, Minister for Police Lisa Neville announced the commencement of the
first stage of the Victoria Police state-wide roll out of body worn cameras.

According
to the press
release
, a trial of 200 cameras will be rolled out to police in Epping and
Ballarat in April this year.

“Information
is the lifeblood of modern policing, and this technology will build on our huge
investments in frontline policing and help keep Victorians safe,” Minister for
Police Lisa Neville stated.

Body
worn cameras will support better and more efficient justice outcomes and aim to
reduce trauma for victims of family violence.

Police
will use the technology to gather evidence which may be used in court for
greater transparency and decision making including the ability to capture
real-time video evidence of the scene of an incident.

The
trial is part of the Labour Government’s plan to deliver 11,000 cameras by 2020
to police across the state of Victoria, Australia.

The
investment forms a part of the Government’s AUS$596 million Public Safety
Package announced in the Victorian Budget 2016/17 and supports recommendations
from the Royal Commission into Family Violence which called for the trial and
evaluation of body worn cameras to collect statements from victims to use as
evidence in court.

The
Public Safety Package includes funding for new police, new state-of-the-art
equipment, mobile technology, and a AUS$15 million 24/7 Monitoring and
Assessment Centre to ensure police can rapidly respond to major incidents.

“Victoria
Police will soon have some of the most advanced technology in the country
thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s investment in new equipment and
intelligence,” Minister Neville added.

Other
states in Australia, including New South Wales and Queensland, have also
adopted the technology with great success. However, this trial in Victoria is one
of the most comprehensive roll-outs of body worn camera across the country.

In August
last year, the Labour Government introduced new laws to ensure police officers
can legally use body-worn cameras in their daily duties.

The
Justice Legislation (Body-worn Cameras and Other Matters) Act 2017 is the first
tranche of legislation to support the use of body‐worn cameras
as the devices are rolled-out in coming months.

Victoria
Police has been leveraging technology for smarter policing across the state. The
Government’s investment in police technology is designed to create a more
modern and efficient police force and to ensure officers have a greater
presence in the community by spending more time proactively policing and less
time being station-bound.

In November
last year, Protective Services Officers (PSOs) and Transit Police Officers
based in the Wyndham were equipped with new mobile devices and tablets.

“This
will ensure our PSOs have even faster access to the best information and
intelligence available, especially when they’re out patrolling a train platform
and are away from a computer,” Minister Neville explained.

The
programme marked the start of a state-wide deployment of the devices with 8,500
to be in the field by the end of 2019 with additional devices to be deployed to
support new recruits and organisational needs.

It
was part of the Andrews Labor Government’s investment of more than AUS227
million to modernise and upgrade Victoria Police technology, with AUD$81.2
million delivered for the Mobile Technology Project.

Feature image: Takver/ CC BY SA 2.0