Auckland Transport planning as many as 8000 CCTV cameras

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Words: Nile Bijoux
12 Aug 2019

Auckland Transport is looking to beef up its CCTV network to as many as 8000 cameras over the next five years.

The agency is about to award a $4.5 million tender to operate up to 8000 cameras across the city, to be used by other external agencies such as Auckland Council, Police and Fire Services.

In a statement, AT said that it was "not dramatically increasing the number of CCTV cameras,” but rather future-proofing to cut overall costs. AT group manager of technology solutions, Chris Creighton, told RNZ that the plan was to increase camera numbers to 5200 in the next three years. “Within the next five years it'll be upwards of 6000 cameras."

AT, Auckland Council and Regional Facilities Auckland already operate around 5000 cameras and the plan is to take this up to around 6000 within five years, once the City Rail Link is open.

The new cameras will reportedly offer facial recognition as well as other automated processing abilities. Existing cameras are passive, meaning they simply record footage to a server for manual inspection.

However, the country’s spy agencies, SIS and GCSB, have apparently not expressed interest in the cameras. Creighton said that Auckland Transport retains governance around the cameras and access to them, with the police the only other agency currently allowed to use them. Even within AT, only four staff have access to the CCTV feeds.

Last year, Spark, alongside organisations like AT, announced it would create a “smart street” in Wynyard Quarter, where a group of devices collect and analyse data from rubbish bins, car parks, street lights and "even the air we breathe".

Note: a previous version of the article said that AT was planning to add another 8000 cameras. This was incorrect - AT wants to upgrade its back-end capability to cope with up to 8000 cameras. 

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