Community consultation has started on extending the use of police body-worn cameras, with police strongly supporting the move.
However, the ACT Law Society is adopting a cautious approach, waiting for the changed legislation to be drafted before offering a view.
Under the proposals, police would be permitted to activate their body-worn cameras in more situations, such as on private property without consent.
The current police operational guidelines - which are not publicly available - allow officers to record anyone provided they are in a public place. In public, police are not required to caution anyone that they are recording and the only "giveaway" is that the red ring on the camera is visible.
Officers can turn the cameras on and off when they choose but cannot delete footage they have recorded. They can also record during a search warrant and during interactions with motorists, such during a roadside stop for a traffic infringement.
Internally, police have expressed their frustration with footage captured by members of the public and posted to social media, saying that it often doesn't always provide a true picture of the interaction, nor events leading to an incident.
ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury has backed the expansion of police powers "as long as the use of the camera is overt and in the course of policing duties".
He believes the change would "provide an accurate record of events, which can improve the quality of evidence presented in court and ultimately lead to better justice outcomes for victims of crime."
"If any legislative change is made, there will be clear guidance around when and how police should use body-worn cameras," he said.
Following on from their widespread use by NSW Police, the cameras were rolled out across ACT patrols in March 2019 as part of the Australian Federal Police's so-called "futures program".
There have been over 1600 responders to the ACT consultation which closes May 14. Submissions have been mixed, with 63 per cent of the responders in favour.
More than 500 body-worn cameras are now in operational use by police across the ACT, attached to the standard ballistics vest and linked electronically to each officer's Taser and firearm. When an officer's Glock pistol is pulled from its holster or the Taser activated, the camera starts recording.
Lawyers and human rights advocates say the balance must be in favour of accountability, given the abuses of the practice which has emerged in the US, the system could easily be abused given that police can turn the cameras on and off when they choose.
Acting Deputy Chief Police Officer Corey Heldon said that the cameras are regularly credited with "reducing behavioural escalations when speaking with possible offenders who know they are being recorded".
"This leads to better outcomes for the person we were dealing with and provides a safer situation for our officers," she said.
Police also have found the cameras have provided them with an objective record of events which assist with complaint management and use of force reviews.
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