TAMWORTH’S local court has marked the end of an era with the last of its tape recorders switched off for the final time.
Tamworth Courthouse is now digitalised, with all proceedings streamed through a computer, and heralding the end of the cassette tapes which have been in operation for decades, recording tens of thousands of locals cases.
In NSW, all formal civil and criminal proceedings must be recorded to provide a clear and independent account of what happens inside the courtroom.
A spokesman for the Department of Police and Justice said the upgrade would boost the way proceedings were recorded and transcribed.
“Installing new digital technology will significantly improve the quality and reliability of recordings and ensure audio can be accessed faster and more efficiently,” the spokesman said.
The technology upgrade brings Tamworth into line with other country courts such as Armidale which are already digitalised.
Under the old tape system, staff were required to process the tapes in the court before they were sent to a transcription centre for transcribing, most often on the Central Coast.
Now, the audio is captured by microphones in the courtroom and automatically uploaded onto a computer and transferred for transcription if needed.
Audio recordings were previously held for three to five years after a matter was finalised, but now they can be held indefinitely.
The transcripts are most commonly used by judges, juries, the legal profession and members of the public involved in cases, or if a decision is appealed in another court.