Body worn cameras are a deterrent

Article image - Body worn cameras are  a deterrent Town of Claremont Parking Officer Robert Magill (wearing the BWC on his right shoulder) believes the cameras have been a fantastic addition for the team.

Town of Claremont rangers and parking officers are among the first in Western Australia to utilise body worn cameras during their day-to-day activities.

Six body-worn cameras (BWCs) were approved for purchase at the start of the financial year for officers to wear when on patrol.
Mayor Jock Barker said the cameras have been a welcome addition to the Town of Claremont’s Community Safety Program and provide as much of a deterrent as CCTV.

“The BWCs have been implemented for three key reasons – to record and store information, provide an additional level of safety for our officers and residents and to monitor our customer service performance.”

Once activated, the cameras capture sound and vision. They are widely used in law enforcement throughout Australia as an additional security and monitoring measure.

Since their inception in November 2017, officers have noted a drastic decrease in aggressive behaviour, abuse and fallacious accusations.
“Unfortunately it is a common occurrence for our officers to report verbal abuse – often up to four times a week. Since implementing the cameras last year, we have found people’s attitude changes dramatically once the officers inform them of the camera.”

The Town has clear guidelines and procedures in place to manage the use of the BWCs, which are only switched to record mode when the officer is attending a complaint, is approached by a person in an agitated or aggressive manner or if they witness an incident where footage may provide evidence as an offence. Officers ensure they inform members of the public if they are being recorded.