Reveal body cameras making a “big difference” in Australia
New South Wales (NSW) police are currently trialling Reveal RS3-SX body cameras, alongside other suppliers, with the intention of rolling out the technology across their entire force.
The police minister Stuart Ayres said that the body cameras used on the front line will provide a greater transparency about incidents involving the public, while also providing high quality evidence that could be used in court.
“The video devices make a significant contribution to fighting crime, it also allows police officers to record actions that they’ve been involved in,” Ayres said. “We found that video on police officers makes a big difference to the behaviour of people interacting with them so this is a very positive step forward.”
In addition, the minister highlighted how the body-worn cameras would be able to help the police from an educational stand point, by providing footage to review in training.
“The more we have the body-worn video, it’ll allow us to evaluate critical incidents as well, so police officers will know there’ll be a record of that,” he said. “It’s important for their own training and feedback, but it’s also important to know that people interacting with police have the potential to be videoed as well.”
The assistant commissioner for policing in New South Wales, Alan Clarke, was also enthusiastic about the benefits of body-worn video. He emphasised how footage would benefit the police when giving evidence in court. Another important benefit mentioned was the deterring nature of the cameras, since offenders will be aware their actions are being filmed.
“Something that seems quite insignificant at the time can escalate in a matter of seconds.” Clarke said. “This is when the camera is most beneficial to officers.”
“A picture is worth a thousand words and with these devices if you play up, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to watch your video replay in court.”
“The devices also had a positive impact on behaviour. We found once someone was aware they were being recorded, their behaviour changed – in some cases, it helped defuse aggressive situations.”
Reveal body cameras uniquely feature front facing screens in order to amplify the deterring factor of using video. When people can see themselves on a screen, there is an immediate demonstration that their actions are being recorded.