16 Jul 2015

Parking wardens get on-body cameras

11:14 am on 16 July 2015

The Hutt City Council is confident its new policy of fitting front-line staff with security cameras will not breach people's right to privacy.

A Hutt City Council parking officer wears one of the on-body video cameras.

A Hutt City Council parking officer wears one of the on-body video cameras. Photo: SUPPLIED / Hutt City

Parking wardens and animal control officers in Lower Hutt are to wear on-body video cameras to help protect them from abuse and assault.

Front-line staff will wear the cameras alongside a visible ID tag alerting people to the camera's presence.

A council spokesperson, Jocelyn Raffills, said staff would only activate their camera if they felt threatened, and they must tell the person they are dealing with that they have turned it on.

Ms Raffills said the experience of other councils showed when cameras were worn, fewer conflicts escalated and conflict situations were less likely to turn aggressive.

She said the council had taken all necessary steps to adhere to privacy guidelines.

"We set up a policy when we were looking to trial the use of the cameras. We wrote a policy which sets out the privacy guidelines and also the guidelines for when the camera should be used.

"We sent the guidelines to the Privacy Commissioner for comment and they had some positive things to say about it."