Queensland Police to roll-out 5,500 body-worn cameras to frontline officers

A new contract has been signed with Axon to provide all uniformed officers with body-worn cameras.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The Queensland Police (QPS) has signed a new contract agreement with Axon to roll out an additional 5,500 body-worn cameras (BWCs) for frontline uniform officers. 

QPS Commissioner Katarina Carroll said BWCs used by police officers were vital policing tools as they provided an impartial record of events and interactions.

"The clarity of real-time footage can not only facilitate a quicker resolution to criminal investigations but also provides police officers and the public with confidence that evidence is being recorded without prejudice," she said.

The new contract is in addition to a previous contract QPS signed with Axon in 2016 that saw it roll out 2,200 BWCs

The Queensland government has allocated AU$6.3 million over three years to continue the BWC program to provide more effective and efficient policing, given the cameras can reduce administrative time for frontline officers. 

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Minister for Police Mark Ryan said the Queensland government was pleased that all uniformed first responder officers would have BWCs. 

"Body worn cameras have proven to be beneficial for police officers as they allow officers to improve their response in relation to threats against community safety," he said. 

"This increases transparency of QPS responses and ensures consistency in digital evidence handling procedures.

The QPS was the first policing agency in Asia Pacific to implement BWCs. 

Other police agencies, such as Victoria Police, have since caught up on the technology front. Victoria Police announced earlier this month it was launching a dedicated drone unit to assist with police operations, including forensically documenting crime scenes to capture footage from all angles with millimetre precision.

The unmanned aerial drones will also be used to map crime scenes and provide search and rescue support, Victorian Acting Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville said during the announcement. 

Victoria Police also implemented a number plate recognition and in-car video technology as part of a AU$17.3 million deal with Motorola Solutions last October.

Under the five-year deal, 220 police vehicles will be fitted with high-resolution, cloud-based Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology that enables the rapid scanning through thousands of vehicle number plates to identify dangerous and unauthorised drivers in real-time.  

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