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Thursday, 25 April 2019 07:46 pm

Newlands and Mana buses activate audio surveillance

Ian+BusacrossthetoprightsideNewlands and Mana Coach Service have begun recording audio on their buses.

The company’s 107 buses servicing Greater Wellington region are fitted with audio recording as part of their video surveillance cameras.

Ian Turner, pictured, CEO of Mana Coach Services, says keeping the public safe is the main objective if there are incidents.

“We have got audio as well as the visual recording of what’s being said, any threats that are made,” Turner said.

He said the existing video surveillance devices have always been capable of recording audio, but only the cameras above the drivers’ seat are switched to audio record.

They made the decision to record audio from the camera situated above the drivers’ seat about two months ago, but the warning signs have only been placed recently.

He said there has been no public announcement about the audio recording devices, other than the signs located on the doors, and inside of the buses.

Mana Coach Services are legally required to have the signs visible in all vehicles that have audio recording.

“There are safeguards in terms of who may listen to those recordings, and when we may listen to them.”

Turner says the only time they would listen to the audio recordings was if there was a serious incident.

“That incident could range from and assault on a driver, a threat against a driver, a theft or attempted theft, through to a complaint from a passenger about a driver’s behaviour.

Apart from one question from a member of the public, they have received no complaints about the audio recording devices.

Commuters spoken to at a Johsonville bus stop were not aware of the audio recording.

Ash Hills, 21, from Johnsonville said: “It’s a breach of our privacy. If it’s not clearly stated, it’s a big no-no.”

Another Johnsonville resident, Sean Butland, 20, said: “It’s rude. They shouldn’t be recording people.”

Tali Milovale, 41, from Johnsonville also called it rude. “It’s a bit steep don’t you think?”

Churton Park resident Michael Hamilton, 26,, said: “I didn’t know about it. It’s not a problem.”

Jason Kim, 30, from Woodridge, said: “It’s a bit awkward. I can understand because sometimes people get drunk and cause problems.”

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