THE Australian Maritime Safety Authority is rolling out body-worn cameras for its frontline staff. The technology is slated to be operational nationally by December.

AMSA manager of enforcement and inspector support David Marsh said AMSA is joining other regulatory agencies in using the equipment to provide greater transparency and protection for both AMSA inspectors and the maritime industry.

“AMSA staff often conduct vessel inspections alone in isolated or remote areas.  So these new BWCs will help protect staff and improve officer safety,” Mr Marsh said.

The body-worn cameras will be worn openly on the uniform of AMSA inspectors and can capture both audio and visual interactions.

The cameras will provide an accurate record of events as well as improve compliance and the quality of supporting evidence in the investigation of breaches of legislation. 

“The main benefits include improved evidence gathering and transparency, and we expect the cameras will also reduce how often offenders refuse to pay infringements which will reduce time spent in court, saving time and money,” Mr Marsh said

 ”We will have strict policies and procedures in place regarding how body worn cameras will be used, and the circumstances in which they are activated – as well as governance of the footage they obtain.”