Hawkesbury police to have body worn videos for the first time

Real-time recordings of crime incidents in the local area will now be available to local police following the introduction of Body Worn Videos (BWV) in the Hawkesbury Police Area Command (PAC) last week.

The rollout of the mView matrix cameras began at the command on Thursday, September 7, and both still and moving pictures can be captured in high definition, wide-view vision even in low-light settings.

BWV: Windsor police officers Constable Eliza Gawthorne and Inspector Peter Jenkins wearing the new NSW Police body worn video (BWV). Picture: Geoff Jones

BWV: Windsor police officers Constable Eliza Gawthorne and Inspector Peter Jenkins wearing the new NSW Police body worn video (BWV). Picture: Geoff Jones

The cameras also record high-quality audio, with the ability to record audio-only.

Advanced technology is used at the beginning of each officer’s shift to recognise individuals signing out the cameras.

Hawkesbury PAC Commander Superintendent Jim Stewart said the cameras would complement other strategies to tackle local crime.

“BWV will play an important part in our ongoing commitment to officer and community safety in the Hawkesbury area,” he said in a statement.

“With millions of interactions between police and community members every year, the cameras will be an excellent tool to assist investigations by directly recording criminal behaviour and providing officers with a contemporaneous, unequivocal account of an incident.”

Camera: A close-up of one of the cameras now being worn by Hawkesbury officers. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Camera: A close-up of one of the cameras now being worn by Hawkesbury officers. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Footage recorded is encrypted and stored safely on the cameras, and once downloaded onto the secure police database all footage on the camera is erased.

“I want to reassure the community our officers have received training on the appropriate use of BWV and members of the public will be informed if the camera is in use,” Superintendent Stewart said.

BWV technology was successfully trialed in 2013/14 and was first supplied to front-line officers on Sydney’s eastern beaches in September 2015.

It is now being rolled out to more than 500 sites in metropolitan, regional and rural areas across the state. 

“Police agencies using BWV have noted positive results and benefits, including lower incidence and escalation of violence, reduced 'not guilty' pleas and increased cooperation from the public, improved officer conduct, professionalism and reduced complaints, [and] improved offender behaviour,” a statement from NSW Police said.