Re-booting the CopWatch police accountability app

Last Updated on 31/03/2023 by National Justice Project

In Minto (NSW) earlier this month, we re-booted CopWatch – a groundbreaking app, website and training programme to educate people about their rights when filming police interactions with community.

We would like to thank our partners Thoughtworks and King & Wood Mallesons for making this re-boot possible. We would also like to thank Uncle Dave Bell, Lizzie Jarrett, Paul Silva, Aunty Mal Fruean, Uncle Ivan Wellington and the Southwest Multicultural & Community Centre for helping deliver our relaunch event.

The re-boot comes five years after the original CopWatch programme was launched back in 2017. Since then, we’ve seen some shocking instances of police brutality across the country – including:

  • WA Police ramming an Indigenous teenager with a car in May 2018
  • NSW Police slamming an Indigenous teen to the ground in June 2020
  • NSW Police hurling an Indigenous teen suffering from an anxiety attack to the ground in March 2021
  • Without community awareness about the right to film police, we may have never have known about these brutal assaults. And without the video footage, our clients may not have been able to secure accountability in the courts.

    In each of these examples, our clients suffered serious injuries – and they weren’t just physical. Sometimes, these incidents can be fatal.

    At the re-boot in Minto today, Dunghutti, Gumbaynggirr, Bundjalung woman Lizzie Jarrett told community members that using mobile phones during police interactions “is a survival tactic for our youth today.”

    Thankfully, since we launched CopWatch we have also seen the community respond to police violence by taking out their phones and recording police interactions. 

    CopWatch contains three key components:

    If you would like to run CopWatch training in your community, please write to