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QUALITY OF ATM VIDEOTAPES IS AT ISSUE

The state is toughening its rules for surveillance video cameras at bank automatic-teller machines.

Gov. George E. Pataki has directed the state Banking Department to adopt an emergency regulation that will require all ATM video surveillance tapes to be changed regularly.

Under the new regulation, an ATM tape can be used for no more than one day, except on weekends and holidays. Then the tape must be retired and not used again until 30 days later.

No tapes are to be used for longer than one year, essentially limiting the routine total content per tape to less than 30 days recording time.

The move comes a week after a highly publicized New York City rape case. A female employee at WNBC-TV was raped in a stairwell just blocks from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

A nearby bank camera captured video pictures of the suspect, but New York City police criticized the quality of the images. Police officials said the bank's tapes were five years old.

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