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Software for new body cameras in supermarkets linked to police license plate technology

Two multinational companies with close ties to the New Zealand Police have formed a new partnership to improve anti-crime surveillance in supermarkets. This collaboration integrates software systems used to recognize car license plates with body-worn cameras.

As New Zealand supermarkets, following global trends, begin to implement body cameras to deter increasing attacks on staff, this technology integration marks significant progress. Auckland-based company Auror, known for its automated license plate recognition system (ANPR), is partnering with Axon, a $35 billion US company that is the market leader in body cameras for law enforcement and retail.

Improving monitoring capabilities
New Zealand Police already use Auror’s ANPR network, which connects to more than 5,000 CCTV cameras across the country. The new integration with Axon’s bodycam technology aims to provide a more comprehensive surveillance solution. Police have access to bodycam footage uploaded to the Auror platform by retailers, including CCTV footage and mobile phone recordings, improving their ability to effectively investigate crimes.

Rising adoption of body cameras in retail
The spread of body cameras from law enforcement agencies to retailers aims to increase safety and accountability. Foodstuffs, a major supermarket chain, has implemented body cameras in 16 of its 500 stores to increase safety for staff and customers. In the first three months of this year, stores on North Island reported more than 5,000 incidents, an average of one incident per week per store.

Operational details
Bodycam footage is only recorded when devices are activated and later stored safely. Authorized personnel can upload footage to the Auror Platform at the request of the police for investigation. Woolworths, another supermarket chain, ensures bodycam footage is managed securely by selected safety and security team members and only shares it at the request of police.

Integration and data management
The partnership will use Axon’s data system, Evidence.com, to store and transfer footage. This integration enables the secure export and transfer of complete evidence packages from Auror Investigate to Axon’s Evidence.com, facilitating efficient law enforcement investigations.

Legal and security considerations
The integration of body cameras with ANPR technology comes with legal and security considerations. The New Zealand Police have policies regulating access to ANPR footage, but lack explicit guidelines for bodycam footage. There is currently a legal challenge regarding the use of ANPR technology without warrants, highlighting the need for clear regulation.

Conclusion
The Axon-Auror partnership is an example of the evolving retail security landscape, where advanced technologies such as IoT and AI are increasingly used to enhance security measures and combat rising crime rates. This integration aims not only to deter crime, but also to streamline investigative processes so that both staff and customers in New Zealand supermarkets can benefit from a safer environment.

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