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How many CCTV cameras are there in the UK?

Did you know that the UK is one of the most-watched countries in the world? A report published by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) estimates that the total number of CCTV cameras in the UK stands at somewhere between 4 million and 6 million. That’s around 7.5 cameras for every 100 people in the country – the third-highest total on the planet behind the US and China.

But are we really a Big Brother state?

You may think that the government is behind this high level of surveillance, but the BSIA found that only around 1 in 70 cameras are owned by local authorities. Instead, the majority of CCTV systems are owned by private businesses and organisations who recognise the need to keep themselves safe from crime. With everywhere from corner shops to private homes now protecting themselves with CCTV, it’s hard to arrive at an accurate total, but rest assured that the police can only request to view footage if a serious crime has been committed.

CCTV across the country

It’s often stated that the average person will be recorded by 70 CCTV cameras in a typical day, but the picture could be very different depending on where you live. According to the Office for National Statistics, there are around 13,900 CCTV cameras monitoring public spaces in London, with Bristol coming in second place with a significantly lower number of 658. Oxford and Newport are the least-watched cities with just 45 and 39 public cameras respectively.

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