Premier Daniel Andrews Introduce Legislation To Put Body Cameras On Every Police Officer

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In 2012 the bean counters at the Police Department in Rialto California worked out that the their department was going to go broke due to civil claims of "excessive force" being paid through civil claims against their members.  The legislators rushed through legislation that put a body camera on every officer and instantly use of forced dropped by 80% and complaints overall dropped 88%.  "When you put a camera on a police officer, they tend to behave a little better, follow the rules a little better..." Chief William Farrar.

In Australia, and The State of Victoria to be more specific, there is no adequate provision for body cameras on Members of Victoria Police.  The fact is Members of Victoria Police are a law unto themselves and the police investigating the complaints made about their members, for the vast majority of complaints, results in no action being taken against the officer.  Even when there is footage that proves that reasonable grounds exist to make a complaint, no action is taken.  In some instances, reprisals begin and even though a complaint to the Police complaints department, by whatever name it goes by these day, is a Protected Disclosure that, unless it is specifically written by the maker of the complaint/Protected Disclosure that it is not a Protected Disclosure under Section 12 Subsection 2 of the Protected Disclosure Act then the maker of the complaint falls under the protection of The Protected Disclosure Act which repealed The Whistleblower Protection Act which was created due to a wonderful Police Offcier, now long since retired, named Simon Illingworth who's story is available on the ABC's Australian Story - A truly terrifying saga that one of our good cops endured that is an inspiration to stand against corruption, no matter how life threatening it is, for all our sake.

As a maker of a Protected Disclosure, (the video evidence is attached, and being experienced in surviving the aftermath of making that Protected Disclosure, and doing a LOT of research.  In 2014 I wrote the below Amendment Bill and submitted it to Parliament.  A state election happened and it went away yet the identified problem of police brutality, collusion, perjury, impunity and out right thuggery remains in full flight with only increasing use of force without video evidence and unlawful arrests and incarceration made in reprisal of Protected Disclosures being the trend.  They're not called complaints anymore!!  Without video and audio to back any Protected Disclosure it is swept under the carpet and no action is taken and IBAC defend the police, yet if Police wish to fabricate a charge without sufficient evidence it invariably is proven in an Inferior Magistrates Court without video with audio to back it up.  The standard of evidence is appalling to put it mildly and Magistrates openly flaunt their authority and bias and are freely called totally incompetent by Judges who protect the institution commonly known as Magistrate Shopping.

So here it is,

Copied and pasted off the original word document so please excuse layout issues and lets make our cops accountable!  The side benefit is that vexatious complaints can also be found out and those making false claims against the odd good cop can get their just deserts too.  But most importantly is the Police will also have video with audio to back their version of events when they catch bad guys!!! That'd be great when hundreds of crims would just plead guilty when they see the evidence and free up the courts from stupid not guilty pleas when there is damning evidence!

 

I hope someone reads this and signs it.  What I propose below is my best effort at the time.  Many friends have questioned me about the work below and are satisfied that it is an unfinished project and needs the legislators to do MINOR tweaking and IMMEDIATE INTRODUCTION because that is what this petition is about.  Making sure our good cops are protected and making sure the filth is removed from their ranks.

 

Victoria Police Amendment

(Consequential and Other Matters) Bill

2014 by Phillip Schuhmann

 

Table of provisions

 

Section                                                                                                                 Page

 

Part 1 - Preliminary                                                                                     1

 

1              Purpose                                                                                              1

2              Commencement                                                                              1

3              Definitions                                                                                          1

4              Act binds on Crown                                                                         2

 

 

Part 2 - Victoria Police Act                                                                           3

 

5              Personal recording device                                                            3

6              Application of recording device                                                 3

7              Use of recordings in court proceedings                                  4

8              Requirement for production of recording                             5

9              If the recording device is damaged or the battery runs flat   6

10           When the recording device can be switched off                                6

11           Public access to recordings                                                          7

12           Excluded footage                                                                             7

13           Protection of members of the public                                      7

14           Extenuating circumstances                                                          8

15           Live streaming                                                                                   9

16           Exemptions to live streaming                                                     9

17           Recording device shall be fitted to all police vehicles        10

 

 

 

Part 3 - Other Acts                                                                                           11

 

18           Police Regulation Act 1958                                                         11

19           Evidence Act 2004                                                                           12

20           Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958                   12

21           Public Administration Act 2004                                                 12

22           Criminal Procedure Act 2009                                                      13

 

                                                                                                                                                                       


 

ENDNOTES                                                                                                          14

 

1              Explanatory Details                                                                         14

2              Disclaimer                                                                                           14

 

 

 

Part 1 – Preliminary

 

 

 

1          Purpose

 

The purposes of this act are to-

 

(a)          amend the Victoria Police Act 2013; and

(b)          amend other Acts as required.

 

 

 

2          Commencement

 

These amendments come into operation on a day to be proclaimed.

 

 

 

3          Definitions

 

In this Act-

 

Breach of discipline has the same meaning as in the Victoria Police Act 2013.

 

Live streaming means continuous live streaming over the internet to the Police Recording Database and to the Victoria Police internet server.

 

On duty mean from the time the member is rostered on to the end of their rostered shift including any overtime.

 

On their person mean (In relation to a member of the force) physically attached to the members uniform.

 

Police recording database means a secure internet based storage server backed up on hard disc and DVD of each members shift appropriately catalogued for easy retrieval and disbursement whereby any member of the public can access the recording and view it on line.

 

Recording means the digital recording taken by the recording device.

 

 

Recording device means a tamper proof and water proof digital recording device that records audio and video simultaneously.  The device shall have sufficient battery power and memory capacity to record continuously for the duration of the time rostered on and any overtime.  The device shall have an opaque date and time stamp embedded into the footage that cannot be removed or altered.  The device shall have a Global Positioning System installed and continuously active that shall record the location and movements of the device.

 

 

4          Act binding on Crown

 

This Act binds the Crown in right of Victoria and, so far as the legislative power of the Parliament permits, the Crown in all its other capacities.

 

 

 

Part 2 – Victoria Police Act

 

 

 

5          Personal recording device

 

All members of the force shall wear on their person a recording device whilst on duty.

 

 

6          Application of recording device

 

(1) The recording device worn by all members of the force on their person whilst on duty shall be applied to the uniform worn by the member in any of the following places;

 

(a)    on either the left or right lapel or vest; or

(b)   on the members hat or helmet; or

(c)    on the members belt buckle; or

(d)   on the members sunglasses.

 

(2) The default position of the recording device worn by a member of the force on their person whilst on duty shall be on the left or right lapel.

 

(3) If the member is riding a police bike then there shall be a recording device fixed to the police bike in conjunction with the recording device fitted to the member’s helmet.

 

(4) The default position on any police vehicle shall be forward facing whereby all communications of members in or around the vehicle shall be recorded.

 

(5) If the member is wearing a hat or sunglasses then if the hat or sunglasses are removed, left in or on a police vehicle, or becomes detached from the member in any way, then there shall be a recording device in the default position as stipulated under subsection 2.

 

(6) The recording device shall be applied to the uniform worn by the member at the commencement of their shift and shall be removed upon completion of their shift whereby the member shall download onto the police recording database the entire shifts footage for immediate release to the public for scrutiny and burn a DVD of the entire recording immediately before “clocking off”.

 

 

 

 

 

(7) All members of the force shall, upon any interaction with any member of the public, state that the officer is recording the interaction and the member of the public has and can exercise a right to have their identifying material particulars remain anonymous until any charge is brought before a court of competent jurisdiction and proved in relation to the recording.

 

(8) The recording shall be continuous subject to section 10 of this Act.

 

(9) It shall be deemed a breach of discipline if the recording device is switched off for any purpose not stipulated in section 10 of this Act.

 

 

7        Use of recordings in court proceedings

 

(1) In any court proceeding whereby a member of the force is the informant or is to give evidence in any way;

 

(a)    the recording shall be produced by the informant or any member of the force who is giving evidence subject to one of the following circumstances;

(i)                  there is no recording available; or

(ii)                the recording is not relevant to the evidence given; or

(iii)               there is other members of the public that do not wish to be identified

(a)    for security reasons

(b)   for any other reason; or

(iv)              the recording is subject to exclusion subject to sections 12 or 14 of this Act and;

 

 (b)  the recording shall be unedited and shall be subject to scrutiny against the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees of Special Bodies and the VPM.

 

(2)For any summary offence being heard in the either the Magistrates’ Court or the County Court;

 

(a)  if police were in attendance when the offence is alleged to have been commissioned, failing the production of the recording the charge is to be dismissed; or

(b)   if police were not in attendance when the offence is alleged to have been commissioned, sufficient evidence pursuant to the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958  and Evidence Act 2008 shall be supplied; and

 

 

 

(i)             any recording relevant to the service of summons           shall be produced; and

(ii)          any recording relevant in any other way shall be produced.

 

(3) The defence shall be supplied any recording relied upon by the prosecution in the preliminary brief.

 

(4) Sufficient proved grounds for non-production of the recording shall be given by the member of the force or prosecution which includes;

 

(a)    an exclusion under sections 12 or 14 of this Act; or

(b)   a member of the public who appears on the recording has expressed that they do not wish to be identified in the proceedings subject to;

(i)           the possibility of a breach of an intervention order or similar; or

(ii)          the member of the public being sufficiently notified of the reasons for the requirement of the production of the recording in writing and written receipt of confirmation of acceptance that the recording must be produced and that the member of the public shall in no way be subjected to any infraction whatsoever due to the contents of the recording.

 

 

8          Requirement for production of recording

 

(1) If any member of the public or officer of any court requests a recording from a member of the force;

 

(a)   the recording shall be supplied in the form specified by the member of the public within 5 clear days; and

(b)   no fee shall be payable.

 

(2) If any court orders the production of any recording then subject to section 7 subsection 4 paragraph (b) subparagraph (ii) of this Act the recording shall be produced.

 

(3) An application must be made by any member of the force to the court to facilitate non-production of a recording subject to subsection 1 of this section and sections 12 and 14 of this Act.

 

 

 

9          If the recording device is damaged or the battery runs flat

 

(1) If the battery in the recording device runs flat or the recording device malfunctions in any way then the member shall immediately return to the Police Station where the member is stationed and replace the recording device with a fully charged recording device and continue the performance of their duties.

 

(2) If the member is executing any duty or power that requires the use of force or entry to private land while the battery is depleted and no replacement recording device is available, another member must be present with an active recording device to supply protection in the form of a recording to the member for the purposes of public scrutiny of their actions.

 

(3) Only in extreme life threatening circumstances shall a member intentionally breach subsection 1 such as, but not limited to;

 

(a) a shootout whereby the recording device is damaged; or

(b)           a violent situation whereby the recording device is damaged; or

(c) a vehicular crash whereby the recording device is damaged; or

(d)           the member remains on duty for an extended amount of overtime whereby during the course of a single transaction the elapsed time of the recording is sufficient to exhaust the battery charge and no replacement is possible.

 

(4) Subject to subsection 3 paragraph (c) a replacement recording device shall be provided in all police vehicles.

 

 

10        When the recording device can be switched off

 

(1) The recording device shall only be switched off whilst the member is in a cubicle in a public toilet or police station toilet or a private toilet or a corporate toilet performing an ablution as the location dictates and shall be switched on before exiting the cubicle in a public toilet or a police station toilet or a private toilet or a corporate toilet subject to the privacy of other persons in the toilet facility.  Discretion shall be applied by the member and if such privacy of members of the public or private residents or corporate representatives is breached then it shall be deemed a breach of trust and disciplinary action shall be taken by the Chief Commissioner unless it is proved to be inadvertent and remedy has been provided by the member.

 

 

 

 

(2) All police vehicles shall have sanitary towels for the purpose of sanitising the member’s hands before switching the recording device back on after performing an ablution and before washing their hands properly.  The device shall capture the member suitably adhering to personal hygiene standards as stipulated by the Chief Commissioner.

 

(3) At the end of the shift.

 

(4) The recording device cannot be switched off in a court room or court house however any accused or particulars of unproved charges shall not be identified by the recording.

 

 

11        Public access to recordings

 

Any recording not subject to an exemption under sections 12 or 14 of this Act shall be freely available to any member of the public and shall be freely and easily accessed via the internet and subject to section 8 of this Act.

 

 

12        Excluded footage

 

A recording, or section of a recording as the case may be, may be excluded from a court hearing or public access if it, or the section of the recording, has satisfied section 14 of this Act and is not subject to an objection to exclusion from either party in the hearing or appearing in the recording.

 

 

13        Protection of members of the public

 

All members of the public shall be protected from any act of reprisal should a breach of discipline be identified through public scrutiny of any recording.

 

 

 

 

14        Extenuating circumstances

 

(1) It shall be deemed an extenuating circumstance if;

 

(a) the recording shows and identifies the location, or sufficiently identifies the location of;

 

(i)           the home or residence of the member of the force; or

(ii)          the home or residence of an officer of a court; or

(iii)         the home or residence of a public official as defined under the Public Administration Act 2004; or

(iv)         the home or residence of a person subject to an intervention order; or

(v)          a child subject to any protection order or similar; or

(vi)         the home or residence of an accused person; or

(vii)        the home or residence of a witness for the defence or prosecution of any charge

and that person suspects that they may be subjected to an act of reprisal or disciplinary management action for an unrelated incident or occurrence; or

 

(b)           the recording shows or is likely to show;

 

(i)           genitalia or bare breasts of a member of the public in a public toilet, private toilet or corporate toilet

(ii)          genitalia or bare breasts of a member of the force or public official or officer of a court in a public toilet, private toilet or corporate toilet

 

unless the charge is of such a nature that such vision is relevant such as but not limited to indecent exposure; or

 

(c) the recording shows undue distress of a member of the public unless the member of the public expresses the will to have the recording viewed or released to the public.

 

(d)           the recording is likely to result in theft of, or damage to, property if released to the public.

 

(2) In all instances the recording shall be supplied or produced and shall have the excluded vision pixelated and or the audio muted for the relevant excluded section.

 

(3) Application can be made to a court of competent jurisdiction to remove any exclusions and the court shall ensure that the recording supplied containing the section subject to an exemption shall not be made public.

 

 

15        Live streaming

 

(1) All information gathered by any recording device shall be live streaming continuously subject to the exemptions provided in section 16 of this Act.

 

(2) Public access to live streaming shall be made available in real time via the Victoria Police internet server.  Back up servers shall be available at all times to ensure continuous live streaming of every active recording device subject to the exemptions provided in section 16 of this Act.

 

(3) No requirement to produce identity is required by any member of the public to view the live streaming however application must be made to Victoria Police by any member of the public wishing to receive a copy of the recording and it shall be an offence to make or have a copy of a recording without application first being made and accepted.

(Penalty – 5 penalty units)

 

16        Exemptions to live streaming

 

(1) Exemptions to live streaming are;

 

(a) If the recording device is damaged and cannot function; or

(b)           The Officer and or Police Vehicle are active as part of a covert surveillance operation or raid.

(c) The Officer is in a closed court subject to a suppression order.

 

(2) Application shall be made to a court of competent jurisdiction if an exemption to live streaming is required.

 

(3) Global Positioning System information shall be exempt from live streaming if application is made for an exemption to a court of competent jurisdiction under section 12 or due to the recording showing and identifying the location, or sufficiently identifying the location of;

 

(i)           the home or residence of the member of the force; or

(ii)          the home or residence of an officer of a court; or

(iii)         the home or residence of a public official as defined under the Public Administration Act 2004; or

(iv)         the home or residence of a person subject to an intervention order; or

(v)          a child subject to any protection order or similar; or

(vi)         the home or residence of an accused person; or

(vii)        the home or residence of a witness for the defence or prosecution of any charge

 

 

17        Recording device shall be fitted to all Police Vehicles

 

At least one recording device shall be fitted to all Police Vehicles.

 

     


(1)     

Part 3 – Other Acts

 

 

 

18        Police Regulation Act 1958

 

(1) Reword section 10 to read;

 

Female persons who are members of the force shall be entitled to receive salaries, wages and allowances at the same rate as male persons of corresponding rank who are members of the force are entitled to receive.

 

(2) Reword section 68 to read;

 

Chief Commissioner shall dismiss unsuitable members

(1)  The Chief Commissioner, by written order, shall dismiss a member of the force if the Chief Commissioner is informed that the member is unsuitable due to;

(a) Breach of discipline; or

(b)  driving related offence/s or indictable offence/s being found proved in a court of competent jurisdiction; or

(c) misconduct or malpractice; or

(d)  the member receiving more than 3 complaints in any calendar year.

 

The remainder of section 68 remains as written.

 

(3) In section 69 insert after section 3;

 

(4)          A member of the force commits a breach of discipline if the member breaches a provision of the Victoria Police Amendment (Consequential and Other Matters) Bill 2014 by Phillip Schuhmann or commits an act of reprisal as defined under sections 43 or 45 of the Protected Disclosure Act 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

19        Evidence Act 2004

 

Before section 101A in Division 1 of Part 3.7 insert;

 

101AA   Evidence given by a member of the force shall not be deemed credible unless it is accompanied by a recording as defined under this Act and;

(a) the recording is not subject to an exemption under section 12 or section 14 of this Act; and

(b)  unless there is no recording due to circumstances of a material particular to the charges.

 

 

20        Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958

 

After section 9D in Division 1A of Part 1 insert;

 

9DA       Evidence given by a member of the force shall be deemed inadmissible in all cases where a recording could have or should have been produced subject to section 9 subsection 3 of this Act.

 

 

21        Public Administration Act 2004

 

Reword section 22 to read;

 

The regulations shall-

 

all other text to stay the same.

 

 

 

22        Criminal Procedure Act 2009

 

In section 37 after subsection 3 insert;

 

(4)          Any recording relevant to the charge or charges or complaint made relating to the member of the force and the incident relating to the charge or charges or the lead up to the commission of the alleged offence or offences contained in the preliminary brief.

 

In section 41 after subsection 2 insert;

 

(3)          Any recording relevant to the charge or charges or complaint made relating to the member of the force and the incident relating to the charge or charges or the lead up to the commission of the alleged offence or offences contained in the preliminary brief.

 

 

 

 

 

ENDNOTES

 

 

1              Explanatory Details

 

                                This Bill is produced due to the problems encountered and identified between 2011 and 2014 whereby members of the Victorian Police Force have engaged in repeated reprisal attacks causing extreme pain, injury, financial hardship, emotional trauma, economic loss, detriment and suffering to the writer and his family, relationships and earning capacity and these acts were enabled, condoned and sanctioned by the Magistrates’ Court.  This Act shall be seen as a partial remedy for the atrocities committed by members of the Victorian Police Force and shall encourage Parliament to bring about swift changes to the accountability of public officials of all types and levels of authority without bias and compel Parliament to construct a truly independent oversight body for the Victorian Police Force, the Magistrates’ Court and the wider Department of Justice.

 

 

2              Disclaimer

 

                The writer is not a lawyer.  The writer is not a politician.  The writer makes no apologies for any errors or omissions and does not accept any responsibility for any detriment caused to any person whatsoever in the writing and expectation of the Parliament of the State of Victoria to enact these amendments.  The writer acknowledges that there are many more consequential amendments to other Acts that have not been written in this Act and that there is much more work to be done with respect to live streaming of recording device data over the internet and public access to live streaming and Global Positioning System information regarding the exact whereabouts of each and every member of the Victorian Police Force.

 

Written by:        Phillip Schuhmann on the 30th day of October in the year 2014.



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