CCTV in the UK

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by odonII, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. odonII

    odonII O

    Several years ago The Daily Mail (and others) reported there were 4 million cameras in the UK - now they are halving that No.


    The analysis

    One camera for every 14 people comes with a partner statistic: that there are 4.2 million security cameras in the UK.

    The pair of claims come from a working paper published in 2002, by academics Michael McCahill and Clive Norris. FactCheck alarm bells are already ringing. It's now 2008, so is the figure still up to date?

    It's hard to say, as there are no official (or even unofficial) statistics on how many CCTV cameras there are. The information commissioner doesn't know, the government has repeatedly told parliament that figures are not collected, and any tally of publicly funded cameras wouldn't cover any small screens set up in the likes of cornershops.

    We can look, however, at how the Davis-quoted figure was calculated.

    The basis comes from a survey of the number of CCTV cameras in two busy south London streets, Putney High Street and Upper Richmond Road.

    The researchers sampled 211 "premises" - banks, estate agents, pubs, shops and office blocks - and found that 41 per cent had CCTV systems, with an average of 4.1 cameras per system.

    By assuming this is "broadly representative" of CCTV coverage across the whole of London, the authors estimate that 41 per cent, or 102,910, of the 251,000 VAT-registered businesses registered in London would have a CCTV system. Multiply this by 4.1 and there would be 421,931 cameras.

    They then add the cameras operating in other public institutions - such as open-street systems, transport, hospitals, schools etc - and reckons it's "not unreasonable to 'guesstimate' that Londoners are monitored by at least 500,000 CCTV cameras".

    Maybe it's not unreasonable, but it's hardly concrete proof, either.

    The report then estimates that, as London has 7.2 million residents and the UK has around 60 million, the country has at least 4,285,000 cameras, approximately one for every 14 people.

    Bingo - there's the claim, but we've got to it based on two London streets, multiplied out to reflect the whole of London, and then multiplied again to reflect the whole country.

    Big Brother is DEFINITELY watching you: Shocking study reveals UK has one CCTV for every 32 people

    The research involved police community support officers counting every camera in Cheshire and extrapolating the results nationwide to provide a reliable estimate of the level of CCTV surveillance in the UK.
    Officers counted 12,333 cameras in the area, according to a study published in CCTV Image magazine, the majority of which were inside premises, rather than facing public street.
    The research also found that most CCTV cameras in the UK are likely to be privately owned, with only 504 of Cheshire’s cameras run by public bodies.

    Read more:

    Now it's

    There are believed to be around 1.85 million CCTV cameras in the UK
    At least 51, 600 CCTV cameras are controlled by local authorities
    More than 100,000 cameras are installed in secondary schools and academies in England, Wales and Scotland

    More than 200 schools use CCTV in bathrooms and changing rooms
    Local authorities have spent 515m on CCTV operations in the past four years
    It is thought Britain is home to 20 per cent of the world's population of CCTV cameras
    The average Londoner is captured on a CCTV camera more than 300 times a day

    Powerful CCTV cameras which can track faces from more than half a mile away 'could breach human rights laws'
    Surveillance commissioner says advances in CCTV technology are turning Britain into Big Brother society
    Andrew Rennison warns of a 'public backlash' unless proper steps are taken to regulate the cameras
    They are being rolled out across UK cities without members of the public being consulted, he warned

    Read more:

    So, if somebody asks how many CCTV cameras there are in the UK per person, just say: 'I have no idea' :p
  2. MamaPeace

    MamaPeace Senior Member

    Surely it would be near impossible to find an acurate number of cameras? Some people have personal ones installed outside their homes. Then there is the cameras in pubs and clubs. The cameras in staff rooms. Leisure centres and sports facilities etc. There are so many places that have them, even the small local library. It would be impossible to know unless someone literally went into every single building.

    Being in London, I notice them everywhere I turn.

    Also, what about speed cameras and/or traffic surveilance? Do they count, where I live right now we have a speed camera or two on every main or busy road.. we also have vans that drive by with cameras on the top and 'CCTV enforcement' written on the side. I see about 2-3 of those a day, in busy town centres and even on quieter residential roads.

    And police CCTV vans. I was at the park with my toddler a few weeks ago and there was one parked behind a bush looking over into the childrens play park, which also had its own CCTV cameras already. Plus, in London, every bus, every train, every tram or DLC has multiple CCTV installed.

    These are the cars -
  3. broony

    broony Banned

    common solar flair... lets test the point...
  4. odonII

    odonII O


    It would be impossible, unless every system was registered - which they aren't.
    The second - most recent - estimate (approx 2 million) does consider the cameras operated by local councils (traffic/speed/others):
    At least 51, 600 CCTV cameras are controlled by local authorities.
    The first mentions: open-street systems, transport, hospitals, schools etc - totaling 500,000.
    As for the rest, it's pure guess work.

    I'm not shocked with the amount/use in London or any of the major cities in the UK. I think it is similar here in Leicester, with regards to traffic monitoring/speed cameras etc. They just installed a camera to monitor a bus lane - and have been making quite a tidy sum: almost £450,000

    I could not find any pictures of ours, but found this quite funny:

    Bikers blow cover of CCTV cars snooping on drivers


    I wonder what gave it away - the CCTV emblazoned on the front?

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