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Local Australian councils that are concerned over the safety of their rangers and traffic enforcement officers can now use web cams built into a hat to help identify what happened in the event of an incident.

The new technology, which is being trialled by several councils in the UK, is set to be trialled in Australia in 2010.

Among the UK councils that are using the technology are Salford Council, the London Borough of Bromley, Scarborough, and Bolton. They have also been tested by Westminster City Council.

Research shows that local councils in Australia are raising millions in parking fines, while the State Government is raising hundreds of millions from speed cameras and other motoring fines.

Some motorists when confronted by enforcement officers turn violent, say Sydney Council officials, with incidents often ending up in court.  

In the UK, Salford found that assaults dropped by 30 per cent after the head cameras were brought into use and it is this which has made their use attractive to other councils, say officials in the UK.

“The footage can also be used to ensure Enforcement Officers are not overstepping their powers and that they are acting in a courteous and professional manner,” said a Salford Council official.

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