ALL Queensland fisheries patrol officers will be required to wear cameras to record interactions with the public, Acting Fisheries Minister Dr Anthony Lynham announced recently.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers based at Pinkenba are the first to wear the body cameras, which will be a standard part of uniforms across the state by February 2018. “The roll-out of body cameras was a recommendation from a Workplace Health and Safety review of the QBFP,” Dr Lynham said. “The Queensland Government has accepted the recommendation as it will help to ensure the safety of the patrol officers and with compliance and prosecutions. This initiative comes as 20 additional patrol officers started work this month as part of the government’s commitment to vastly improved compliance and data gathering to support better management of our fisheries resources. This is a new era in fisheries management and it is appropriate that our front-line officers have the tools they require to do their jobs as efficiently as possible.”
Dr Lynham said Pinkenba was chosen as the initial site because of the higher number of officers working in the district, as well as its proximity to information technology support services. “Being a Brisbane-based district office close to IT professionals and the contractor who is providing the equipment, it will be an opportunity to iron out any glitches at an early stage,” he said.
Cameras will then be rolled out at Redlands, Gold Coast, Mooloolaba and Noosa in coming weeks, with the rest of the patrol to be progressively brought onto the system by early next year. Dr Lynham said data would only be reviewed on an ‘as-needs’ basis, and would be stored in a secure environment. “All interactions with the public will be recorded, but recorded information will only be reviewed if necessary,” he said.