• A freeze-frame taken from a body-worn camera worn during a police training exercise. (WA Police)Source: WA Police
The move is part of an $18 million plan to improve the accountability of law enforcement and the community.
By
Rangi Hirini

Source:
NITV News
25 Mar 2019 - 5:50 PM  UPDATED 25 Mar 2019 - 5:50 PM

Front-line police in Western Australia will be issued body-worn cameras which automatically start recording when officers draw their guns.

About 4200 cameras will be deployed to officers across the state within the next two-and-a-half years.

The first officers to get cameras will be those in Perth and the Pilbara region.

"It will provide greater transparency and greater protection to both police and members of the community," WA Police Minister Michelle Roberts said on Sunday.

"It's also hoped the new technology will help reduce assaults on officers and increase the number of early guilty pleas."

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The move has won the support of WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson.

"Body-worn cameras are a significant step in the digital modernisation of WA Police Force," Mr Dawson said.

"The benefits include improved evidence gathering and accountability, and I expect they will optimise how our front-line officers operate."

He said officers will be required to activate the cameras when attending domestic violence complaints and “physical or hostile” situations.

Officers will also be bound by a strict set of procedures about when the cameras are activated and cannot alter or delete recorded videos.

Deaths in Custody Watch Committee chairman Mervyn Eades said the cameras should also automatically start recording during taser incidents.

“Anything to do with tasering should be recorded,” he told NITV.

“Tasers have caused deaths in recent times.”

With AAP