Moves to protect privacy

Aucklanders' privacy needs to be protected as CCTV becomes more prevalent, Shore councillor George Wood says.

Auckland Council is working to develop guidelines for CCTV in the city and deal with "haphazard" rules around its use, Community Safety Forum chairman Mr Wood says.

The forum is considering how to create a regionally co-ordinated approach to CCTV networks, and received an update on a memorandum of understanding which is being developed with police.

"CCTV in public places is an increasingly popular community safety tool that is seen to play a part in enhancing both perceptions of safety and crime prevention," the forum's agenda says.

Mr Wood says both the police and private operators used CCTV in areas throughout Auckland, but there is no coherent set of guidelines for the whole city as to how it should be used and how people's privacy could be protected.

"We need to know what happens to the information from CCTV and what that information is going to be used for."

Mr Wood says costs also needed to be considered as it would be expensive to maintain and monitor every CCTV network across the city.

He says the council also wanted to know the impact of CCTV in certain parts of Auckland and asked if it displaced people to other areas.

At this stage, Mr Wood says, the policy was generic and there were no plans for the council to be involved in the set up of new CCTV in Auckland in the near future.

North Shore Times