For the first time in Western Australia, the State Government has equipped police with body worn video cameras in a trial to help reduce assaults on officers and increase early guilty pleas.
Deputy Premier and Police Minister Liza Harvey said it was anticipated the camera footage would protect both the public and police officers as they went about their daily duties.
"Our police officers do an exceptional and challenging job and we will be examining if the body worn video contributes to early guilty pleas and helps to reduce assaults on officers. We will also look at whether the cameras reduce complaints against police," Mrs Harvey said.
The trial will be conducted in the Perth metropolitan area and Bunbury.
The Minister said the cameras would play an important role in the fight against crime and could be used to conduct interviews on the frontline, potentially freeing up courts with early guilty pleas.
"Body worn video can also provide greater credibility for police and result in calmer interactions between police and offenders as they both know they are being filmed," she said.
Mrs Harvey said the Liberal National Government was committed to making communities safer through tough laws and providing police with the resources they needed to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.
"This Government has done more than any other to protect the public and our police officers, including adding 1,050 police and auxiliary officers to the ranks between 2008 and 2017," she said.
"We have introduced minimum mandatory jail terms for anyone who assaults a police officer, as well as enacting mandatory blood testing of offenders who bite or spit at officers to ensure officers know as soon as possible if they have been exposed to a disease. This was something officers have long campaigned for, but it was this Government that implemented the law."
300 cameras will be deployed to officers during the trial
Evidence captured by cameras will continue to be part of the disclosure process in accordance with current practice and legislative requirements
Other States have conducted similar trials and some have started agency-wide rollouts
Deputy Premier and Police Minister's office - 6552 5900