Thursday, June 20, 2024

Albury adopts body camera policy

AlburyCity Council has adopted a Personally Worn Surveillance (PWS) Policy in a bid to ensure team members in education and compliance roles feel safe performing their duties.

The Council says PWS devices are more commonly known as body worn cameras, and are becoming a common tool in a range of public facing roles.

AlburyCity Team Leader Eduction and Compliance, Andrew Hill said the devices would help Rangers feel safer in undertaking their duties.

“Our Rangers often face challenging siutations, and under AlburyCity’s strict health and safety policies it is important that we are doing everything we can to support them, so they can safely go about the important work they do on behalf of our community,” said Mr Hill.

“Equally important is that the devices will benefit our community, in that they provide an indpendent perspective if an incident does occur, and Rangers will only record incidents when they feel there may be risk to personal, community or public safety.”

He said research had shown that PWS devices are effective in protecting both employees and members of the public, as they act as a deterrent to negative behaviour, and a recording provides an independent perspective in the event of an incident.

Council says the PWS devices will be worn on the chest of AlburyCity Rangers, operating in stand-by mode and only recording when Rangers believe their safety is threatened, or when negative behaviour is witnessed.

When activated, the cameras record high-definition vision and audio, capturing 30 seconds of vision before the recording is initiated. Community members will be made aware when Rangers press the record button on the device, the Council said. 

If recorded footage is required for evidence in any court proceedings, or as part of any complaint or employee conduct investigation, the data will be securely stored as required by the State Records Act 1998. If not required for an investigation or enforcement action, the data will be immediately deleted, it said.

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