The Protection of Freedom Act (POFA) of 2012 is a wide - ranging piece of legislation. It embraces a raft of measures with significant implications for the rights of the individual. It was seen as an attempt by the coalition to rebalance some of the laws introduced by the previous government that they believed conflicted with civil liberties. Some of the key areas addressed include the DNA database, detention without charge and police stop and search powers.
- Protection Supports the lone worker or enforcement officer, promotes confidence and provides a tangible backup in confrontational situations.
- Deterrent Moderates behaviour and encourages compliance through heightened awareness.
- De-escalation Verbal articulation that recording has commenced often prompts modified behaviour by both parties and de-escalates a situation.
- Safety Creates peace of mind and reduces verbal and physical attacks on workers.
- Transparency Contributes significantly to the drive for transparency and accountability in the public arena.
- Accuracy Provides verifiable audio/video reporting including an overview of the scene, time-stamp, verbal exchanges, sequence of events and valuable first-account witness statements.
- Time-saving Minimises lengthy descriptive reports and paperwork.
- Evidence Footage from body-worn video devices is admissible throughout the judicial chain.
- Judicial Efficiency Accelerates the judicial process, by speeding up prosecutions and encouraging early guilty pleas.
- Reduces Complaints Members of the public are less likely to make spurious complaints against workers.
- Reduces Absenteeism All the above improve worker working conditions and promote mental well-being in vulnerable staff.
- Loss Prevention The combined benefits of body-worn video contribute to efficient workflow and cost-saving.