Body cameras for HRCC safety officers

Published on 17 June 2022

Community Safety Officer with body camera.png

Horsham Rural City Council’s Community Safety Unit staff have adopted the use of body cameras in an attempt to combat aggressive behaviour.

The cameras will be used to collect evidence of interactions with the community, with any abusive or aggressive behaviour recorded reported to the police.

Jason Brady is Team Leader for Local Laws at HRCC. He has a team of five staff who have the power to enforce Acts of Parliament and Council’s local laws. Together they oversee functions such as animal management, litter, and footpath maintenance all of which in general are about the safety, service, and wellbeing of the community.

“Unfortunately, the team can sometimes come across aggression when doing their job, and occasionally false complaints are made against them,” Mr Brady said.

“Most issues arise around animal management as this is what officers spend most of their time doing.

“Evidence suggests that people moderate their behaviour when they are aware that they are being subject to surveillance. Audio visual footage can also be used as an evidentiary tool to assist with prosecuting offenders he said.

The cameras have been acquired and are now being rolled out after the development of policies and procedures around the correct handling and storage of data.

The employment of body cameras to keep council staff safe is not new. They are used at other Councils and by-law enforcement staff in most state and federal jurisdictions.  

“We have held discussions with these organisations and all parties have seen a reduction in complaints and assaults of staff since using body worn cameras,” Mr Brady said.

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