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Body worn cameras trial

Body worn cameras (BWC) provide government agencies with an independent and objective resource to record incidents and interactions between officers and members of the community.

The Office of Industrial Relations (OIR) is undertaking a trial to evaluate the effectiveness of BWC as personal protective equipment (PPE).

The trial involves 18 inspectors who will wear BWC while performing their duties under the Work Health Safety Act 2011 when they visit a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU). Any recording of an incident where there is violence or intimidation (including threats, or physical or verbal abuse) toward any inspector or any other person, will be retained.

Any recording that contains information that supports findings in a workplace investigation may be retained as evidence.

All other recordings will be deleted after 90 days.

Which inspectors will be wearing BWC?

Eighteen body cameras have been issued to inspectors in the Cairns, Maroochydore, Brendale, Logan and Robina offices.

Which camera will inspectors be using and how does it work?

The wearable camera system incorporates an audio and video recording device that will be worn by inspectors.

The camera is a digital video recorder offering high quality video and low-light gathering capabilities. The recorder is designed to store up to nine hours of recordings.

The camera has an operating mode which provides pre-event buffering to capture activities that occur prior to a recording being commenced.

Inspectors may use an application on a mobile phone as a visual aid for using the camera.

All recordings are the property of OIR and must be uploaded to the digital evidence management system from the device regularly (usually daily). Uploading is automated through camera docking stations installed at each rollout location.

When will inspectors be using BWC? Will they always be on?

For the trial, a body camera may be used once the inspector has assessed the situation and determined there is a possible threat to them or any other person.

An inspector will advise the third party being recorded that the body camera is on or will be switched on, unless it is impractical to do so. For example, an impractical situation may be when physical or verbal abuse unexpectedly occurs.

How do I access BWC footage made in the trial?

BWC recordings are considered information gathered by OIR and the recordings will be treated in the same way as other information under OIR records management obligations.

Unless footage has been retained due to an incident of verbal or physical abuse or as evidence, it is deleted after 90 days and may not be available after this period has elapsed.

Anyone can apply for access to information held by OIR by submitting a Right to Information (RTI) application.

What happens when the trial is over?

It is anticipated that the trial will run until June 2019. OIR will evaluate the effectiveness of BWC throughout the trial to determine if this technology will be issued to inspectors in the future.

Privacy

OIR is committed to protecting your privacy and understands that members of the community are concerned about their privacy and the confidentiality and security of information that is collected by OIR.

The 11 information privacy principles found in the Information Privacy Act 2009 place an obligation on OIR to take reasonable steps to ensure that people are aware of the types of personal information collected and held by an agency, why that information is held, what it is used for, and how an individual can access their personal information. Find more information regarding your privacy.

For this trial, it is intended that body camera recordings will be made under lawful authority of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

If any recording (or parts of a recording) of a third party are not made under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, their personal information will be handled in accordance with the 11 information privacy principles in the Information Privacy Act 2009.

Last updated
20 March 2019

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