Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Horsham safety officers ready for close-up

Horsham Rural City Council’s (HRCC) Community Safety Unit staff have been issued body cameras in an attempt to combat aggressive behaviour.

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

“Unfortunately, the team can sometimes come across aggression when doing their job, and occasionally false complaints are made against them,” says Team Leader for Local Laws at HRCC, Jason Brady said.

“Most issues arise around animal management as this is what officers spent 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 are being rolled out following Council’s development of policies and procedures around the correct handling and storage of data. 

“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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