26 June: Scenic Rim Regional Council has adopted a policy and procedure for the use of body cameras to be worn by key staff and contractors when engaging with members of the public.
Scenic Rim Regional Council has adopted a policy and procedure for the use of body cameras to be worn by key staff and contractors when engaging with members of the public.
In late 2017 and early 2018, Council conducted trials of body cameras worn by staff in delivering waste, health and compliance services and will introduce use of the devices to maintain a safe working environment and enhance operational outcomes.
Mayor Greg Christensen said the use of body cameras by Council staff and contractors in certain situations was a progressive move.
"Perhaps it's a reflection of the state of the world that we have to embrace this technology, however I think it's an appropriate and responsible step, both for the protection of our employees in the execution of their duties and also to provide a factual basis to address any follow-up concerns," he said.
An interim policy and procedure for the management, ethical, lawful and efficient use of body-worn cameras was approved following trials by staff in late 2017.
The new Body Worn Camera Policy and Procedure adopted by Council also addresses issues of accountability, and the management and secure storage of data ahead of the introduction of body-worn cameras by Council staff and contractors. It complies with legal requirements including the Criminal Code, Invasion of Privacy Act and Information Privacy Act.
Notices will be displayed in prominent locations and entry points on Council premises to alert visitors and members of the public to the use of body-worn cameras by Council staff.
As a courtesy, employees wearing body cameras will inform members of the public when recording is taking place. It is important to note that use of the cameras will be triggered to record specific activities and will not be used to record an employee's entire shift.
Recorded data may be used by Council to respond to incidents of abuse or violence by members of the public towards Council staff in the course of their duties and to gather evidence for compliance matters. Where an incident occurs and is reported to Queensland Police Service, data can be requested by police relating only to that incident.
Data collected may also be used for staff training and performance coaching, however it will stored securely and the privacy of anyone recorded through the use of body-worn cameras will be protected.
Published: 26 June 2019