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Are there cameras everywhere in the UK?

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The UK is one of the most monitored countries in the world. According to latest figures, there are approximately 1.85 million CCTV cameras watching over the UK, which equates to one camera for every 32 people.

The number of cameras varies from one area to another depending on the crime rates, and as to be expected, the number of CCTV cameras is larger in cities than in rural towns and villages. 627.707 CCTV surveillance cameras reportedly operate in and around London alone.

How do we know where the cameras are?

With the massive growth of CCTV usage in the UK, it’s hard to know exactly where cameras are installed, unless indicated. Signs which inform members of the public that premises, homes and businesses are under CCTV surveillance is recommended by law. In rare cases, buildings and offices have hidden CCTV cameras. It’s believed that CCTV cameras capture the average British citizen nearly 70 times a day, which is much lower than the previously reported figure of 300 times a day.

The UK spends approximately £2.2 billion per year on CCTV and surveillance camera technology, with surveillance footage proving useful in about 65% of crimes.

Are there any privacy concerns?

Most of the CCTV cameras in operation are being upgraded to have facial recognition and sensitivity to motion abilities, with many cameras equipped with sound detection features. This high number of cameras has often raised privacy concerns amongst the British public. However, to protect privacy, The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and the Human Rights Act 1998 prevent the government from installing CCTV surveillance in private places such as washrooms and residential homes.

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