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CCTV in the UK cost £500m in the last 4 years

New figures show that councils across the UK spent more the £500million in four years on CCTV systems, according to campaign group Big Brother Watch.

The group also claim that the amount spent by the 428 councils in question was enough to pay for 4,000 police officers to be on the beat.

  • Birmingham proved to be the highest spender after splashing out £14.3m on 636 cameras.
  • Westminster City Council weren’t far behind at £11.8m for 153 cameras.

Deputy chief constable Graeme Gerrard, from the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “CCTV forms a vital element within modern policing and most serious crime investigations have a CCTV investigation strategy.”
He added: “Following the disorder in August 2011, a significant number of offenders were prosecuted using evidence from CCTV cameras and images and films from mobile phones of members of the public.”

However, Nick Pickles from Big Brother Watch has different views. He said: “Surveillance is an important tool in modern policing but it is not a substitute for modern policing. A lot of the disturbances in the summer proved that theory – criminals were looking for CCTV but wore balaclavas and went ahead and robbed anyway.”

He went on: “There is no credible evidence that more cameras will reduce crime, yet councils have poured enough money into CCTV in just four years that would have put more than 4,000 extra police officers on the streets.”

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