Frontline correctional officers in NSW’s prisons will be equipped with body-worn video (BWV) cameras to improve safety and operational transparency, particularly in dangerous situations.
Corrections minister Anthony Roberts announced the rollout on Tuesday following a nine-month trial of the technology at several maximum-security centres.
Immediate Action Teams, which respond to security and emergency situations in correctional facilities, and the Security Operations Group are among the first to receive the cameras.
“Our immediate action teams are the first responders to critical incidents in the correctional environment,” Roberts said.
“This technology will allow them to respond to situations quickly and confidently.”
A Corrective Services NSW spokesperson told iTnews around 360 Axon Body camera have already been rolled out, with a further 740 expected to be deployed by the end of the year.
Officers will use the devices to “gather audio and visual evidence in the event of an officer assault, use of force or contraband raid”.
Like the devices used by NSW Police, the officer is required to manually active the BWV camera’s record function. Once activated, the camera will retain the first 30 seconds of video prior to activation and continue recording.
CSNSW commissioner Peter Severin said the cameras would help de-escalate incidents and resolve investigations more swiftly.
“These body-worn cameras enable our officers to record high-quality digital video evidence of a contraband raid or use of force with the press of a button,” he said.
“Our aim is to not only ensure the appropriate documentation of uses of force, but to provide greater protection and assurance to staff.”
CSNSW is the latest NSW government agency to receive BWV cameras, following in the footsteps of NSW Police and, more recently, NSW Health.
NSW Health began trialling the devices last year to help reduce incidents of violence against the state’s paramedics.