Following a trial at the end of last year, on 24 March 2021 Council's Chief Executive Officer Fergus Power approved a Body Camera Use Policy which enables Regulatory Services and Building Control Officers to carry wearable video cameras at times while performing their duties.
Officers will conduct a situational risk assessment and not routinely wear body cameras for all their duties. The cameras will be mounted in a conspicuous manner on clothing and may be activated to make video and audio recordings in accordance with the policy.
Officers wearing the cameras are required to verbally advise members of the public that the camera is filming as soon as is practicable.
Acting Group Manager - Heritage, Environment and Regulatory, Roger Cook, said Council had a zero-tolerance policy towards any harm, abuse or threats towards staff. After investigating a number of adverse behaviour incidents last year, the introduction of wearable video cameras was intended to keep everyone safe, and also provide a record of disputed conservations which should benefit customers and officers alike.