IN an attempt to combat aggressive behaviour, the Horsham Rural City Council's community safety unit have adopted the use of body cameras .
The cameras will be used to collect evidence of interactions between staff and the community, with any abusive or aggressive behaviour recorded and reported to the police.
Jason Brady and his team of five local law staff members have the power to enforce Acts of Parliament and the Council's local laws.
Together they oversee functions such as animal management, litter, and footpath maintenance, all of which, in general, are about the safety, service, and wellbeing of the community.
"Unfortunately, the team can sometimes come across aggression when doing their job, and occasionally false complaints are made against them," Mr Brady said.
"Most issues arise around animal management as this is what officers spend most of their time doing.
"Evidence suggests that people moderate their behaviour when they are aware that they are being subject to surveillance."
He said that audio-visual footage could also be used as an evidentiary tool to assist in prosecuting offenders.
The cameras have been acquired and are now being rolled out after developing policies and procedures around the correct handling and storage of data.
The employment of body cameras to keep council staff safe is not new with several Victorian councils and by-law enforcement staff utilising the technology.
"We have held discussions with these organisations and all parties have seen a reduction in complaints and assaults of staff since using body worn cameras," Mr Brady said.
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