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Body Worn Cameras to improve safety for Police and the Community

16 May 2017

Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

In a major new initiative aimed at improving the safety of police officers and the wider community alike, Tasmania Police will soon introduce Body Worn Cameras.

The Hodgman Liberal Government’s upcoming Budget is about Building Tasmania’s Future and that includes working towards our goal of making Tasmania the safest state in which to live, work and raise a family.

Today, I can announce that we will be committing $3.4 million over the next four years to roll out Body Worn Cameras to all frontline police officers.

Policing is a high-risk occupation, and the Liberal Government will always look to support our police officers in their service to our community.

Where the previous Labor-Green government cut police numbers, we are rebuilding Tasmania Police, and are well on track to reach 1233 officers by 2018, an increase of 113 since the last election.

While there is safety in numbers, there is also more that we can do.

Where they have been used in other jurisdictions, these cameras have been shown to provide significant operational benefits for police, including through influencing the behaviour of offenders, potentially reducing the incidence of assaults on police.

They can be used to record statements at the scene of an incident, and have also been found to improve accountability for police officers.

Importantly, the use of video from these cameras will be valuable in responding to family violence incidents. They may lead to an increase in guilty pleas, which avoid the necessity for victims to give evidence in court.

We expect the first cameras will be rolled out later this year.