ABC News: Police to Use Camera Vests

South Australian police will start using cameras which can be worn in special vests.

Police Minister Michael Wright says eight cameras will be used across Adelaide to improve the quality of evidence to help boost the number of arrests.

He says the cameras will make it harder for suspects to deny involvement in offences where there is recorded evidence.

Mr Wright says the cameras are already being used by police in the Netherlands.

“You can use them in a broad range of circumstances,” he said.

“The initial trial will be in and around Hindley Street, obviously you know where there’s fairly significant crowds.

“[Police will] use them for surveillance and, if this trial proves successful, we’ll broaden them out. They can be used, of course, at sporting stadiums.”

Mr Wright says the cameras will also be an extra security measure for officers themselves.

“What we want to use them for is to make sure that crowd behaviour is modified to ensure that police get the right information that can be used as evidence and also, of course, better protection for police officers,” he said.

The cameras can also be head mounted, with the cabling in the special jacket.

Police Association president Mark Carroll says they will make policing safer.

“I think that we’ll see technology as it gets better, smarter, safer, lighter, go right across the board in relation to the police officers that will use it,” he said.

President of the South Australian Civil Liberties Council, George Mancini, says there will be a risk that people attending political rallies or other public or private events could be spied on.

“There are activities in that context which are perfectly peaceful, perfectly proper, perfectly legal and people don’t want to have that footage kept and stored somewhere for them to be identified as participants in these sorts of innocent or legal activities,” he said.

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