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Invercargill’s downtown CCTV camera system outdated, $300,000 upgrade considered

Invercargill needs a downtown CCTV camera system upgrade. [File photo].

Derek Flynn / Stuff

Invercargill needs a downtown CCTV camera system upgrade. [File photo].

Invercargill’s town center camera system is described as a valuable tool to aid criminal investigations in the city, although the current configuration is “outdated”.

The existing CCTV system in the center of Invercargill was installed in 2005 and is funded by Invercargill City Council. However, it is operated and monitored by the police.

In 2018, police representatives met with the council and encouraged it to provide additional investment to provide wider coverage.

Police said better footage and new locations in the CBD, South City and other “hotspots” were needed.

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The council’s head of strategic asset planning, Russell Pearson, said existing cameras were considered old technology and could also be in the wrong place to provide what was needed.

“Current street gear is considered past its expiration date in terms of technological advancements in this space.”

The issue will be brought back to council at an infrastructure services committee on Tuesday. It was recommended that a budget of around $300,000 be needed to sort out the past camera system.

Pearson indicates in its report that four years ago, the solutions were considered unrealistic, whether financially, from a storage or technology point of view.

However, four years on these solutions can now be delivered.

“Technology and how it is stored, transmitted, protected and shared has now become a specialized technology solution.”

In a police statement on Friday, he said CCTV is a valuable tool for police and is regularly used to investigate criminal offences.

“Police welcome any investment that will help our communities be safe and feel safe.”

Should council conduct a review of CCTV and the potential upgrade project, it was recommended that council create a group which will include elected members, council staff and police to confirm the scope and reasons for continuous investment.

New Zealand Police would be key to the continued smooth operation of any system that might be installed, Pearson said.

As well as the town center camera system operated by the police, the council also has a number of other CCTV networks in its buildings and around various areas.

The parks also have a number of cameras mainly around Queens Park, and they are recorded on location in Queens Park.

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