The number of public CCTV cameras in the UK has now risen to over 100,000, with some local councils more than quadrupling their surveillance over the last three years.
Ironmongery Direct, a supplier of specialist ironmongery, issued Freedom of Information requests to local authorities and found that almost seven in ten (69%) have increased their CCTV presence since 2019.
Across the UK, there are now 108,533 public cameras, an increase of 14% (12,960 new devices).
This doesn’t include privately owned equipment, such as cameras operated by businesses or members of the public, so the overall total will be even greater.
The biggest rise in CCTV has been in Gwynedd, in north-west Wales, where the council now operates 468 cameras, compared to 101 in 2019 – an increase of 363%.
A new system has recently been installed that added multiple static cameras in locations where there used to be one pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) device.
Gwynedd Council is one of 16 local authorities that have more than doubled their CCTV over the last three years.
The local authorities that have increased CCTV at the quickest rate since 2019 are:
-The biggest numerical increase was found in Liverpool, where there are now 741 more cameras than there were in 2019 (754 up to 1,495).
– The London Borough of Hackney, however, has the highest level of surveillance. The council controls 3,119 CCTV devices, which is 815 more than any other local authority.
IronmongeryDirect spoke to Grant Fulton, CMC Operations Manager at Corps Monitoring, who predicts that the number of CCTV cameras in the UK will continue to increase.
He said: “As technology continues to advance, so too will the application of CCTV monitoring systems. Over the next few years, CCTV technology will improve our personal safety, the safety of our homes, businesses, assets, and far more.
“Currently, CCTV is mainly used for heatmaps and people counting but, in the future, CCTV-based facial recognition will be a significant part of our world, carrying major implications for personal device security and shopping.
“And as this technology increases, it drives down the cost of surveillance protection, making it more affordable and accessible than ever before.”
Dominick Sandford, Managing Director at IronmongeryDirect, said: “CCTV is an integral part of modern-day society, and cameras have grown more commonplace in recent years as technology and connectivity have improved.
“The increases revealed in our research might raise privacy concerns, but generally CCTV benefits the safety and security of both the public and businesses, and the upwards trend is unlikely to stop anytime soon.”
To read IronmongeryDirect’s CCTV Capitals of the UK: 2022 Report, including the CCTV figures for every UK local authority, visit: https://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/blog/cctv-capitals-of-the-uk-2022