World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Copwatch: Australia’s First Community Accountability Project

Copwatch – Australia’s First Community
Accountability Project Ready to Roll

21 August 2017 – For Immediate Release

Australia’s first-ever Copwatch workshop will take place in Broken Hill today, Monday 21 August, organised by The National Justice Project (NJP).

Copwatch will empower Aboriginal youth to use their smartphones to document police interactions. The program encourages people to lawfully and effectively use video for evidence and in campaigns for justice and accountability.

NJP Principal Solicitor George Newhouse said today: “We are launching the Copwatch program in Broken Hill because of the overwhelming demand from the local community. We are looking forward to offering legal advice and media skills to the participants.”

“Copwatch will give Aboriginal people the tools to publicly expose misconduct and keep police accountable. We believe that relations between the police and Aboriginal people can be improved through this process. It gives Aboriginal people a chance to document their experiences and show the rest of Australia what life is like in these communities. Research shows that all parties behave better when they know they are being filmed.”

"Video technology is cheaper than ever, and most people carry cameras on them all the time. Citizen video is compelling and the possibilities are endless. It can be used to record police encounters, for environmental campaigns, and to document housing problems. Transparency discourages misconduct and improves decision-making and governance."

“We are excited to bring our team of human rights lawyers and media professionals to Broken Hill. We look forward to working with Aboriginal people, and getting their feedback,” said Newhouse.

Des Jones, the Chairperson of Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly, said, “We have real concerns about the intimidation and harassment of Aboriginal youth. NSW Police seem to be targeting local Aboriginal children – it feels like they are being discriminated against. We want a better relationship with police but we feel we are being ignored when what we really need is engagement.”

“Our complaints have been met with a cut and paste response from the NSW Police. We are excited by Copwatch, because video evidence will help to ensure that the police will take our complaints seriously,” said Jones.

Copwatch also aims to build relationships between local Aboriginal people and journalists, so participants can use video to advocate for social change and make their voices heard.

Darumbal and South Sea Islander journalist Amy McQuire, who is traveling with Copwatch, said: “Policing in regional NSW has always been really problematic, there’s always been a tense relationship between Aboriginal communities and police. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of awareness about the issues that these communities face, and often they’re very ill-served by the media. This is an opportunity to give Aboriginal communities a bit of empowerment, and the tools when things do happen to fight back. I think Copwatch will be a good opportunity to teach Aboriginal communities about their rights.”

Further workshops are scheduled in Redfern, Alice Springs and Kalgoorlie. An additional 16 groups across the country have also requested Copwatch workshops.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>


putin, trump scalpGordon Campbell: On The White House Romance With Russia

Tough on Europe over trade, at the G-7. Tough on Europe over defence, at NATO. And utterly smitten as usual by Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On This Week’s NATO Debacle

For someone routinely cast as a clown presiding over an administration in chaos, Donald Trump has been very consistent about his agenda, and remarkably successful in achieving it, in the short term at least. More>>


NZ Law Society: Rule Of Law Threatened In Nauru

“The recently enacted Administration of Justice Act 2018 is another clear sign of the deterioration of civil rights in Nauru,” the Law Society’s Rule of Law Committee convenor Austin Forbes QC says. More>>


'Fixing' Family Separation: Executive Order Imprisons Families Indefinitely

Amnesty: President Trump signed an executive order today mandating for children to stay with their parents in detention while their asylum claims are processed. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC