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Video Testimony Increases Domestic Violence Conviction By 40%

The change, made in NSW last year, has had a significant effect on the issue

Last year, NSW courts began accepting video footage of the victim’s testimony as evidence for domestic violence, filmed by police at the scene of the crime. The step has already had an enormous impact on the amount of convictions, increasing convictions by 40% according to The Daily Telegraph.

The move was a first for Australian courts, and to this day, NSW courts are the only courts that allow video testimonies as evidence for these cases.

The Daily Telegraph spoke to NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller, who explained that video evidence has taken ‘an enormous amount of pressure’ off the victim.

“One of the unforeseen positives of this is when the victim sees the tape on the day of court, it’s the best reminder they could have in terms of the chaos and it reignites their passion to pursue the case.

“Anecdotally, one of the (other) reasons is that once the defence lawyers have seen the tape, it’s leading to pleas of guilty in the first instance.”

Since last year, 600 video cameras have been introduced across NSW police, and 2500 frontline police have even received training in how to film these testimonies.

The system was introduced after 8775 out of 34,789 domestic violence orders were dropped after the complaint was withdrawn by the victim. Police officers had noticed that victims were often so intimidated by the perpetrator that they would drop charges, however video evidence has had the power to take them back to the moment in a powerful way.

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