Victoria Now Has The Most Police Body Cameras In Australia

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Victorian Police can now claim to have the largest rollout of officer body cameras in Australia after the force confirmed a recent deployment.

The state's police force will be fitted 11,000 Axon Body 2 body-worn video (BWV) cameras, confirming to iTnews that 9159 devices were already in operation across the state. The remaining 2000 will likely be given to new recruits as they enter the police force by 2020.

Body cameras will be fitted to frontline officers ranked sergeant and below but protective services officers and other specialist units would also be supplied with their own body cameras.

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The news was first announced in August 2018 by Lisa Neville, the state's Minister for Police, which confirmed 11,000 devices in total were to be rolled out by 2020.

"Body worn cameras will help strengthen community safety, improve evidence gathering, and increase accountability and better interaction between police and the community," Neville said at the time in a media statement.

"They have already led to quicker results through the courts and we expect these benefits will continue as they’re deployed to more and more frontline police.

"We're giving police the resources, powers and technology they need to target and investigate crime and support a safer Victoria."

Police wearing them are bound by state legislation, Justice Legislation Amendment (Bodyworn Cameras and Other Matters) Act 2017, which is designed to ensure the devices aren't misused or tampered with.

It's expected officers will turn the cameras on when collecting any evidence or in specific situations where they're required to exercise any force. Despite that, it's still up to the individual police officer's discretion whether they would like to switch it on or not.

A report from The Age in November 2019 alleged because footage could be switched off at any point and edited, the cameras were ripe for abuse.

Victoria Police has denied these allegations in a series of tweets.

[Via iTnews]

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