The use of body worn cameras (BWC) by police is becoming increasingly prevalent in policing both within Australia and internationally, providing law enforcement agencies with an independent and objective resource to capture incidents and interactions between police and members of the community.
The State Government committed to deliver improved safety equipment for police in particular $6.03M for service-issued Body Worn Cameras, as per the "Keeping our Community Safe" policy prior to the State Election in January 2015.
After conducting an extensive evaluation of offers, the Queensland Police Service selected the Axon body worn cameras and Evidence.com as the preferred camera and digital evidence management system.
Which Police Officers will be wearing BWC?
2700 Service-issued cameras have been rolled out and are now operational at the following stations and commands:
- Rockhampton Station
- North Rockhampton Station
- Rockhampton Tactical Crime Squad
- Brisbane City Station
- Brisbane City Tactical Crime Squad
- Logan Central Station
- Cairns Station
- Cairns Tactical Crime Squad
- Caboolture Station
- Ipswich Station
- Ipswich Tactical Crime Squad
- Inala Tactical Crime Squad
- West End Station
- Capalaba Tactical Crime Squad
- Mackay Station
- Upper Mount Gravatt Tactical Crime Squad
- Maroochydore Station
- Mt Isa Station
- Mt Isa Tactical Crime Squad
- Burpengary Station
- Boondall Station
- Boondall Tactical Crime Squad
- Toowoomba Station
- Aurukun Station
- Palm Island Station
- Redcliffe Station
- Gold Coast RAP
- Maryborough Station
- Townsville Station
- Townsville Tactical Crime Squad
- Townsville RAP
- Doomadgee Station
- Petrie Station
- Deception Bay Station
- Railway Squad, and
- Road Policing Units across the state.
Where an officer is not able to access a Service-issued BWC, an officer may still utilise a privately purchased BWC whilst on duty.
Which camera will QPS officers be using and how does it work?
The Queensland Police Service body worn camera provider is AXON which is a business unit of TASER International. The Axon Flex is a wearable camera system incorporating an audio and video recording device to be worn by officers while performing duty. The Axon Flex has two major components, the controller and camera, which are tethered together with an AV cable.
- The camera is a digital video recorder (DVR) offering high quality video and low-light gathering capabilities. The recorder is designed to store up to 9 hours of recordings.
- The controller is the battery pack and enables the user to turn the unit on, begin recording an event, stop recording, and turn the unit off.
The Axon Flex has an operating mode which provides pre-event buffering to capture activities that occur prior to a recording being commenced.
All recordings are the property of the Queensland Police Service and must be uploaded to the digital evidence management system from the device at the completion of each shift. Uploading is automated through camera docking stations (Evidence Transfer Managers) installed at each rollout location.
When will officers be using the BWC? Will it always be on?
Queensland Police officers are authorised to use a BWC to record images or sounds while an officer is acting in the performance of the officer's duties.
Unless impractical, when an officer is carrying a BWC, the device is to be recording prior to and during the exercising of a police power under legislation; or applying a use of force.
Why are Police using BWC?
The ability to record events electronically as they occur has a range of benefits, specifically relating to the gathering of evidence. BWC have been used in other Australian and International police agencies with positive results including:
- Reduction in officer time spent on paperwork meaning an increase in time on patrol
- Improved collection of evidence,
- Reduction in the use of force by officers,
- Moderated behaviour of people present at incidents,
- Improved officer conduct and professionalism,
- Reduction in complaints against Police and,
- Reduction in 'not guilty' pleas.
How do I access BWC footage?
Body worn camera recordings are considered information gathered by the QPS. They are therefore treated the same way as other information held by the QPS. If a member of the public wishes to access information held by the Queensland Police Service, please refer to the Right to Information page by clicking on the link below: