Evaluation of Trial of Digitally Recorded Evidence in Chief – Family Violence

Evaluation of Trial of Digitally Recorded Evidence in Chief – Family Violence (Recommendation 58)
Investigators: Professor Jude McCulloch, Professor JaneMaree Maher, Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Associate Professor Marie Segrave, Dr Naomi Pfitzner, Dr Jasmine McGowan
Project contacts: Professor Jude McCulloch

The MGFVPC has been commissioned by Victoria Police to conduct a process and outcome evaluation of the Trial of Digitally Recorded Evidence in Chief - Family Violence. The evaluation will assist to ensure that the use of digitally recorded evidence in chief (DREC) by police officers will improve the experience for victim/survivors, contribute to the more effective and efficient administration of justice in family violence proceedings and avoid adverse impacts on all stakeholders including victim/survivors and relevant workforces. It will inform the future use of digitally recording family violence victim statements beyond the trial period.

Background

In 2015 the Royal Commission into Family Violence (RCFV) was tasked with reviewing the State’s family violence system and identifying best practice in family violence prevention and response. The RCFV made 227 recommendations for change to Victoria’s family system. The Victorian Government is committed to implementing all recommendations. Recommendation 58 calls for Victoria Police to trial and evaluate the use of body worn cameras (BWCs) to digitally record evidence-in-chief statements of family violence victims at family violence scenes. The legislation to allow recorded evidence in family violence proceedings passed Parliament in August 2018 and the Trial of Digitally Recorded Evidence in Chief - Family Violence commenced in October 2018. The RCFV recommended that the trial be subject to an independent evaluation and the final report will be tabled in Parliament.