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Which city has the most CCTV Cameras?

CCTV, or closed-circuit television, is being relied upon more and more by professionals attempting to fight crime. The footage they record can be incredibly useful during a criminal investigation, and cameras can also serve as a deterrent when they are visible in public places. Some low-level crimes can seem to be “not worth the risk” when the chances are you would be immediately arrested.

The city in the UK with the most CCTV cameras is London.

In fact, as of 2018, the London borough of Hackney had more cameras than the cities of Liverpool, Chelmsford, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and Bristol combined, at 2246.

As CCTV is often used to prevent and respond to crimes like terrorism, it seems obvious that the most watched city in the country is the capital, which has seen its fair share of terrorism, especially in the last few years.

But is this a good enough reason? Some feel uneasy with the level of surveillance, especially in a city like London. It could be argued that CCTV is an invasion of privacy, and that recording people who have done nothing wrong and are not planning to do anything wrong is a violation of their civil liberties. The idea that it keeps us safe is something of a slippery slope argument – there are many things that would keep us safe but would result in the loss of our freedoms. Most people would protest the idea of CCTV in public toilets, despite the fact that it may keep us safe while using them.

It could also be said that there is little that CCTV cameras can do, particularly regarding prevention of crime, that would not be better done by actual police officers on the streets. A city like London needs more than thousands of watchful eyes, it needs action too.

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