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Upgrade for CCTV cameras to replace ‘outdated’ version

CCTV cameras

Some of the cameras are monitored and some are not. File image.
Photo: Unsplash / Miłosz Klinowski

Whangārei is upgrading its public CCTV cameras so they can recognise car number plates.

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

The upgrade extends from about 60 central city cameras to others run by businesses in outlying Kamo and Hikurangi.

Some of the cameras are monitored and some are not.

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

“For police, this provides our staff with an additional investigative tool when searching for vehicles of interest by way of a manual search within this period,” a council-police statement said.

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

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

The current network was “outdated, stretched and fragmented”.

“The system was independently audited this year and found to be satisfactory, but enhancing would add value.”

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

The police tap into national networks run by two private companies that have thousands of CCTV and number plate cameras.

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