NSW Police are now wearing body-worn cameras to help them collect evidence and stream live video back to operational command units to support investigations.
The Body Worn Video (BWV) units – which have been jointly designed by Fujitsu and mobile video streaming company, m-View Live – are initially being used at the Eastern Beaches Local Command in Sydney.
Police are wearing the cameras on their uniforms, allowing them to record incidents or events where visual and audio evidence will help with their investigations. The cameras do not record all the time and are only activated in operational policing activities where recording is deemed in the public interest, NSW Police said.
NSW Police Force commissioner, Andrew Scipione, said the cameras 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 the individuals they are engaged with.
“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,” he said.
This camera technology was first trialled by NSW Police in 2013 and 2014, and along with international pilots, it has proven to help lower the incidence and escalation of violence, reduce officer injuries, and time spent on paperwork.
“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,” he said.
In May last year, the NSW government amended legislation allowing police to record in public places and private dwellings in the lawful execution of their duties.
The BWV solution includes Fujitsu’s PalmSecure vein reader, which officers will use to check in with their equipment at the end of each shift to ensure that evidence gathered is aligned to the right person.