Bega Valley Shire Council Rangers will soon be wearing a body camera as part of their uniform.
The move to adopt the wearing of body cameras comes from a need to provide critical evidence in law enforcement duties and to reduce the risk of verbal and physical abuse aimed at Council Rangers.
Manager of Certification and Compliance, Tony Payne said the cameras will be clearly identifiable and only activated during law enforcement activities, or when a Ranger feels at risk from anti-social behaviour.
“This technology is to help our Rangers do their jobs while reducing the risk of personal injury,” Mr Payne said.
“Research has shown a camera worn about the body of law-enforcing personnel acts as a deterrent to verbal and physical abuse.
“Rangers will always clearly state when a person is being recorded and each of the body-worn cameras have an outward facing screen, making all parties aware of what and who is being recorded.
“This is not a sign of the times or an indication that anti-social behaviour is on the rise—it is the use of available technology to enable our staff to do their jobs safely and effectively.
“No one should have to deal with harassment or threats simply for doing their job, and these cameras make it clear that threats of any kind will be recorded and if necessary, used as evidence in a court of law.
“The cameras will be worn by all of our Ranger staff as they conduct their duties on public and private property.”
Council Rangers are lawfully permitted to wear and activate body-worn cameras in accordance with the NSW Surveillance Devices Act 2007.
For more information about the use of body-worn cameras, contact Ranger Services on (02) 6499 2222.