Could Big Brother be coming to Canberra?
Police and emergency services minister Simon Corbell announced a trial of a new talking CCTV speaker system on Wednesday, with cameras at the corner of Alinga and Mort streets set to start talking.
From Thursday, visitors to the Civic Bus Interchange will hear a message reminding them the area has CCTV cameras in place.
"The speaker system will be an additional crime prevention tool around crime hot spots in Civic, and will be trialled over three months," Mr Corbell said.
"The speakers will broadcast a message to let people know that they are being viewed and recorded by ACT Policing." Mr Corbell said signs will also be installed to inform the community of the location of the speaker. "People will be able to continue to enjoy time spent in Civic knowing that CCTV coverage will improve safety and security in the area."
The speaker system does not have the capacity to listen to or record audio from the area, and complies with the ACT Government rules on CCTV systems.
"The Justice and Community Safety Directorate will evaluate the effectiveness of the CCTV speaker system once the trial finishes in November," Mr Corbell said.
Similar systems are already in place at the Belconnen Bus Interchange, providing commuters with public and passenger information.
There are 72 CCTV cameras round Canberra, including within the entertainment precincts of Civic, Manuka and Kingston and at other mass gathering sites.
Mr Corbell said the cameras are continually monitored, with ACT Policing undertaking live monitoring on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.