All police officers in Orange are beginning to wear video cameras as part of their uniforms.
Body Worn Video has been added to officers’ equipment over the past few weeks across the Central West Police District.
Central West Police District crime manager, Detective Inspector Bruce Grassick said the equipment would be vital to capture footage of incidents that can be used as evidence in court.
“All police, once they’re trained with the body-wearing device, will be wearing them,” he said.
“Most certainly the evidence that can be obtained by Body Worn Video will be critical for court matters.
“It just gives the court the perspective of the evidence in its entirety.
The evidence that can be obtained by Body Worn Video will be critical for court matters.Detective Inspector Bruce Grassick, Central West Police District crime manager
“It is evidence in its purest form.”
Detective Inspector Grassick said it had already been used to bring a successful prosecution in court in Orange.
He said it was expected to reduce the number of charges being opposed by people who broke the law.
Detective Inspector Grassick said police expected it would have similar results to when in-car video was introduced.
“It probably reduced the number of times police had to go to court because the evidence is compelling,” he said.
BWV was first trialled by NSW Police in 2013 before being deployed to police in Sydney, the Mid North Coast and to specialist officers including Police Transport Command, the Public Order and Riot Squad and Strike Force Raptor in 2016.
The Orange deployment is part of the second phase which will cover 490 sites this year.
Legislation surrounding the use of BWV allows them to be used for a number of purposes by police.
That includes capturing evidence or recording something of relevance, exercising a police power, performing a policing function and as part of first response crime and incident investigation.
BWV can also be used for general patrolling of licensed premises, public transport and other public areas, while police conduct vehicle stops and while talking to the public which may relate to an incident, is relevant to an investigation, or is possibly valuable crime related information.
It will also be used in situations where the use of force is anticipated and it should lead to fewer police injuries.
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