The use of body worn cameras (BWC) by local government agencies is becoming increasingly prevalent, providing agencies with an independent and objective resource to capture incidents and interactions between Council Officers and members of the community.
Council is committed to ensuring the safety of Council Officers and has undertaken to make use of BWC by officers whilst performing their duties.
Which Council Officers will be wearing BWC?
BWC have been commissioned for use initially by Council’s Local Laws Officers, however it is intended that the devices may additionally be used by other officers as the need arises.
When will officers be using the BWC? Will it always be on?
Council officers are authorised to use a BWC to record images or sounds while an officer is acting in the performance of their duties.
Typically, cameras will not be left on continuously, and are intended to capture specific incidences, minimising collateral intrusion to those not involved. Certain business functions may require that a camera be left on for an extended period.
Why are officers using BWC?
The ability to record events electronically as they occur has a range of benefits, specifically relating to the safety of Council Officers. BWC have been used in other Australian public agencies with positive results including:
- Moderated behaviour of people present at incidents
- Improved officer conduct and professionalism
- Reduction in complaints against officers
- Improved collection of evidence
What happens with information collected from BWC?
Mareeba Shire Council officers may collect personal information from members of the public on a Body Worn Camera device during the routine conduct of duties. The personal information collected will only be accessed by persons who have been authorised to do so. Your information will not be given to any other person or agency without your permission or unless required by law.
How do I access BWC footage?
BWC recordings are considered information gathered by Council. They are therefore treated the same way as other information held by Council. If a member of the public wishes to access information held by Council, please refer to the Right to Information page.