On duty police officers in Malaysia will soon be wearing body cameras following the approval of an RM30 million allocation by the government, as announced by the Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
The move is in line with the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill 2020, which will come into force in June 2023. The Bill, passed this July, was tabled with the aim of increasing public confidence in law enforcement, improving integrity, and reducing occurrences of misconduct.
Much like dashcams in use by motorists in the civilian world, video evidence is oftentimes proven to be invaluable in hindsight.
However, the Royal Malaysia Police have placed a request for such body camera devices for quite some time since. As reported by The Star, PDRM had asked the home ministry to expedite the tender process for these devices so that officers in the field could use them as soon as possible.
At a press conference in Bukit Aman earlier this week, the minister also added that ahead of the IPCC coming into effect, the government are in process of procurement for these body cameras, saying: “I hope the procurement can be expedited as it is now a necessity. I have instructed the ministry secretary-general to follow up on the matter.”
Body cameras have become quite commonplace in law enforcement overseas with countries like the United Kingdom and United States rolling them out as standard issue for certain divisions of the police department in the mid-2010s.
Over the years, the device itself has been miniaturised into the size of a typical smartphone, albeit thicker and mounted forward. Aside from audio recording, increased storage, better video resolution and weatherproofing, body cameras typically feature a wide-angle lens and sometimes infrared capability for night time use.