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New CCTV cameras to boost central-city safety

New CCTV cameras to boost central-city safety

State-of-the-art permanent surveillance cameras have been installed at three points in Te Aro as part of the campaign by the Wellington City Council and Police to reduce crime and ensure public safety in the central city.

The closed-circuit cameras, switched on this week, are fixed in elevated positions at the following sites: corner of Cuba and Manners Streets intersection of Dixon and Cuba Streets corner of Taranaki and Manners Streets.

The wireless cameras produce high-quality imaging at a distance of up to 150 metres. The equipment is monitored by the Council’s Walkwise staff every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 10pm until 4am-5am. There is also random monitoring at other times. The cameras will record 24 hours a day so if information is required then the footage can be reviewed.

City Council Community Services Manager Laurie Gabites says the installation of the permanent cameras follows the successful trialling of CCTV in Te Aro last year.

“Police reported to us that the trial cameras provided crucial footage that enabled them to make arrests and secure successful prosecutions after a number of assaults and other incidences of anti-social behaviour in the area.

“The Malls and the Te Aro Park area are busy at all times of the day and night especially at the weekend. It’s a junction and also a gathering point – and the Council and the Police want it to be as safe as possible.

Mr Gabites says CCTV monitoring is an important part of the Council’s Safe City Strategy. “The cameras provide backup to other Safe City initiatives including the Walkwise personnel and the assistance they give to Police, the central-city liquor ban, improved lighting and urban design.”

Walkwise staff receive training before they are permitted to monitor the CCTV cameras. Mr Gabites says the training will include briefings on ethics and the Privacy Act.

Digital footage from the cameras is kept for two weeks after the surveillance date. Mr Gabites says Police, or any one else requiring access to the images, must make a written request to the Council for permission to obtain any images.

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