'Big Brother' cameras watch over Toowoomba

CRIMINALS, security threats, drunks and vandals will be spotted quickly in Toowoomba now that a camera system featuring a raft of technical capabilities including facial recognition has been rolled out.

Specialised camera analytics software from iOmniscient identifies potential safety risks and is being trialled in Toowoomba after an invitation from the South East Queensland Council of Mayors, Cr Geoff McDonald said.

He said the month-long trial would give councils the chance to see a working system and understand the potential benefits analytics could provide councils, government agencies and the community. 

New technology by iOmniscient, a leading company in video analytics, is being rolled out in Toowoomba.
New technology by iOmniscient, a leading company in video analytics, is being rolled out in Toowoomba.

The types of software being trialled will cover functions such as people counting, crowd management and the ability to more easily identify abandoned and missing objects. 

It has the capacity to alert camera operators to acts of vandalism and can also be used for number plate and facial recognition.

Cr McDonald said the advanced software had the potential to offer cost savings to Toowoomba Regional Council and other government agencies as well as providing data on how people use public facilities.


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He said an analysis of the data had the potential to help the council improve its operations.

The number plate and facial recognition function has the potential to automate access to and from council's facilities or assist emergency services to find missing people.

WATCH: How the technology works

There are potential community safety benefits through automatic or early identification of anti-social behaviour and potential safety risks, as well as the identification of people who have left objects behind so they can be returned quickly and easily, according to Cr McDonald.

He said the council would demonstrate the use of the software to representatives from SEQ Mayors this month before reporting back to the council on the trial.

Cr McDonald said the trial advanced he council's intention to capitalise on greater use of Smart Cities technology to improve service delivery across the region.