Body-worn camera evidence trial rolling out

Body-worn camera evidence trial rolling out

Monday, 2 August 2021

We’re preparing for the state-wide expansion of a trial allowing digitally recorded evidence-in-chief, taken from body-worn cameras, to be used in family violence matters.

Following a 12-month trial in the Epping and Ballarat regions, the Department of Justice and Community Safety committed to expanding the trial to the rest of the state.

Victoria Police have outlined their timelines for rolling out digitally recorded evidence in chief (DREC) training to officers and prosecutors to support the expansion of the trial.

The proposed 18-month roll out schedule is available on the Family violence offences and digitally recorded evidence-in-chief page, with Victoria Police training currently underway in Bendigo, Mildura, Frankston and Heidelberg.

Once a police officer has completed their training, they are able to start recording DREC immediately.

This means all lawyers practising in criminal law and/or family violence need to know when their region is scheduled to start using DREC and be familiar with the DREC provisions and process.

Training on body-worn camera evidence

Summary Crime Program Manager Kate Bundrock and Managing Lawyer Natalie Heynes recorded a training for those wanting more information about digitally recorded evidence in chief and how it could change the family violence landscape.

To access the video, please email our Professional Legal Education team at ple@vla.vic.gov.au

The DREC trial was a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence in 2016, one of 227 recommendations aimed at ending family violence in Victoria, including through better systemic responses and support for victims/survivors.

To implement this recommendation, the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 has been amended under the Justice Legislation Amendment (Family Violence Protection and Other Matters) Act 2018 to allow DREC to be used in family violence proceedings.

This applies to both family violence intervention order applications and criminal matters.

The royal commission recommended that two locations be used for an initial trial, which started on 3 October 2018.

The Victorian Government has since opted to expand the DREC trial at all locations throughout Victoria and to conduct an in-depth evaluation of its use.

More information

Any issues or concerns with the way DREC matters are being handled can be emailed to kate.bundrock@vla.vic.gov.au, so they can be fed back to the DJCS Reference Group.

 

Was this helpful?