Arriva officials are watching you
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Arriva officials are watching you

Bus Brother is watching – a CCTV camera peers out of an Arriva windscreen. Photo: Jason Borg

Bus Brother is watching – a CCTV camera peers out of an Arriva windscreen. Photo: Jason Borg

Pictures from cameras loaded on Arriva buses can be used as evidence in connection with contraventions and crime, according to a Transport Malta spokesman.

Each Arriva bus carries four cameras.

One is mounted behind the windscreen facing outwards, another is on the exterior at the back of the bus, also facing outwards, and another two are located and focused inside the vehicle.

When contacted, the company’s spokesman first insisted the “cameras are fixed and focused only upon Arriva buses”, but eventually conceded that the buses had cameras facing outward.

“The CCTV cameras have a role to play in detecting, preventing and reducing crime against members of the public, our employees and property onboard the Arriva buses,” the company spokesman said.

They also facilitate “the identification, apprehension and prosecution of offenders in relation to crime, reducing vandalism and criminal damage to buses, employees and travellers’ property, and helping us to check employee regulations are met,” the spokesman said.

However, both Arriva and Transport Malta failed to say if the company would be using the cameras proactively, to report traffic infringements.

Sources told The Times that Arriva officials have access to the footage from the buses from a centrally located control room.

Transport Malta insisted that the cameras have been approved by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

That said, it “does not exclude the eventuality of the footage being lawfully requested as evidence in connection with any other crime, contravention or infringement as is the case with any other CCTV equipment wherever this is installed.”

The information, TM said, would be available to Arriva, as well as to the authority and the police, “in case of enforcement necessary”, for which there are “established procedures”. Contacted, the commissioner did confirm that the inward-facing cameras had been approved by his office but he was not in a position to say whether those facing outwards were in line with the law.

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