Upgrade for CCTV cameras to replace ‘outdated’ version

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Some cameras are monitored and some are not. File image.
Photo: Unsplash / Milosz Klinowski

Whangārei is upgrading its public CCTV cameras to recognize car license plates.

A report shows that the joint project of the district council and police is expected to cost $765,000.

The upgrade extends from about 60 central city cameras to other cameras operated by companies in remote Kamo and Hikurangi.

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Some cameras are monitored and some are not.

The new cameras can store license plate records for six days, but are not as advanced as the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras used elsewhere.

“For the police, this provides our personnel with an additional investigative tool when searching for vehicles of interest through manual search within this period,” said a statement from the municipal police.

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The separate report said crime, anti-social and mental health-related incidents were on the rise.

A youth advisory survey in 2021 “confirmed that young people want more cameras available and don’t feel as safe as they would like”.

The current network was “outdated, stretched and fragmented”.

“The system has been independently audited this year and found to be satisfactory, but improvement would add value.”

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The new state-of-the-art technology would meet the requirements of privacy legislation, the report said.

Police use national networks operated by two private companies that have thousands of CCTV and license plate cameras.

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