WA Police officers to be wearing body-worn cameras by as early as 2019

WA Police officers to be wearing body-worn cameras by as early as 2019

The WA Police Force is moving ahead with plans to provide body-worn video cameras to officers across the State.

Commissioner Chris Dawson has approved the roll-out as the first initiative of the new Digital Policing Program.

“We will commence the tender process next month, seeking a ‘full service’ provider to deliver cameras and digital evidence software solutions for frontline officers,” Mr Dawson said.

“Body-worn cameras are now commonly used in other policing jurisdictions, with potential benefits including improved evidence gathering and a greater opportunity to capture the whole of an incident rather than rely on piecemeal recordings.”

The first phase will see 200 cameras deployed within Perth District to patrol/inquiry officers by early 2019.

A further 450 cameras are planned for Traffic Enforcement Group and Goldfields-Esperance and Pilbara Districts by mid-2019, building up to a full complement of 3500 users across the State by the end of 2021.

The f will consider a range of mobility innovations that will potentially improve efficiencies and maximise opportunities on the frontline.

“The body-worn cameras are the first step in this program of works – there is a significant opportunity there to optimise how our frontline officers operate.”

A six-month trial of body-worn cameras was conducted in Perth and Bunbury in 2016, and the results of that trial helped inform the pending roll-out of these devices.

“Feedback from our officers was quite positive, with 83 per cent of those surveyed agreeing the cameras improved their ability to gather evidence and take accurate statements,” Mr Dawson said.