Topic 4: Allowing Video Evidence
This is a summary of Topic 4. Download the complete Topic 4 from the Discussion Paper.
When police are investigating an incident of domestic violence, they can record evidence using body cameras. This can include physical evidence and victim statements at the time of the incident, when consent is given.
Currently, the recordings cannot be used in South Australian courts.
Police can issue an interim intervention order when they attend a domestic violence incident, providing protection to the victim until the matter goes to trial. However, by the time the case is dealt with by a court, the victim may refuse to give evidence and want to withdraw the charges. A range of issues can contribute to a victim wanting to withdraw charges, including pressure from the perpetrator and fear. Without the victim’s evidence, there is little chance of the case being successful, and so the case goes nowhere.
We are asking you to consider whether the law should be changed to allow police video recordings to be admissible as evidence in a trial.
This could address the problem of complaints being withdrawn in domestic violence cases, and could also reduce the stress associated with the court process for victims. .