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Smart City sensors to help solve Wellington's begging issues

NEC head of smart city solutions Tim Packer and Wellington City Council community networks safety advisor Julia Hamilton in the NEC rapid prototype lab.NEC head of smart city solutions Tim Packer and Wellington City Council community networks safety advisor Julia Hamilton in the NEC rapid prototype lab.

22 May 2017 - A 'big brother' camera and sensor network, used to tackle begging on Wellington's Cuba St, is set to be rolled out across the city.

The capital has been a lab for Japanese technology company, NEC, since it signed a memorandum of understanding with Wellington City Council in 2014.

A recent Living Lab project explored how 'smart city' sensor technology could support agencies and improve safety.

Last year the 'safe city' proof of concept cost the council $80,000 to trial on Cuba St and a further $45,000 has been requested to focus on high risk areas.

More funding would be needed in the future to keep the project moving, but council staff did not know how much.

The project focused on begging, rough sleeping, alcohol and psychoactive substance abuse.

An analytics platform collected data from new sensor technology and combined it with data held by agencies such as police, fire, emergency departments, ACC and the council.

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