New Zealand Parking Wardens to be Equipped With Wearable Video Cameras, Starting in Hutt City

The Hutt City Council is to roll out wearable video cameras for frontline staff this week.

The new cameras will be worn by all Council parking wardens and animal control officers, to deter aggression and allow staff to safely do their jobs.

The cameras will be worn on the outside of officers’ uniforms and will be accompanied by a visual ID tag carrying a warning that a camera is being worn.

Officers will have the ability to turn on the device in potential situations of conflict.

The cameras will only record footage when manually turned on by officers, and people will be verbally advised that the camera is on.

General Manager, Governance and Regulatory, Joycelyn Raffills, says that the cameras are about improving safety for both Council staff and the community.

“The experience of other councils and regulatory agencies shows that wearable cameras have a direct effect on negative behaviour.

“Research shows that when cameras are worn, fewer conflicts escalate and conflict situations are less likely to turn aggressive, which gives confidence to staff and the public.”

Council has done extensive research into the use of similar devices in New Zealand and overseas, and has taken all necessary steps to adhere to Privacy Commissioner guidelines.

These guidelines include making the public aware that cameras are being used, collecting only necessary images, and having a clear policy on how the images will be handled, stored and disposed of.

Any footage captured is only accessible by authorised personnel and decisions around the retention of footage will be made within 48 hours of collection.
SOURCE: http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=79886