The number of CCTV Cameras in the UK may be as many as 5.2 million, with 1 camera for every 13 people as the popularity of public surveillance, home CCTV and doorbell camera use increases. 96% of the total number of cameras in the UK are now operated by private businesses and homeowners.
“It won’t come as a shock to most people that the number of CCTV Cameras in the UK has hit a new high, driven mainly by residents installing home CCTV in the last year. The popularity of doorbell cameras is relentless”, explains James Ritchey from CCTV installation company CCTV.co.uk
Previously the number of cameras in the UK was estimated at 4.8 million, however it is now believed that this number has jumped to 5.2 million as the cost of technology comes down and the popularity of sub £200 surveillance camera systems and doorbell cameras increases. Anxiety over lockdown and the increase in mail order purchases has driven the use of DIY CCTV systems at home for monitoring and security purposes.
“The technology is getting much cheaper, and when we look at the number of doorbell cameras, DIY CCTV and Home CCTV systems being installed by homeowners currently, we think the numbers have risen much more than we previously thought”, explains Ritchey.
The difficulty in calculating just how many CCTV cameras there are in the UK
There is no exact number available as to how many CCTV cameras there are, as a camera does not need to be officially registered – anyone can install CCTV to protect their property.
Generally, there are 4 types of CCTV camera systems in UK:
- Local Authority/Council/Police CCTV camera monitoring systems
- Corporate and business CCTV Systems
- Home CCTV Systems
- Non-installed Doorbell and wireless cameras
We can predict with some accuracy that the number of CCTV cameras in London totals 691,000.
A survey in 2002 by writers Michael McCahill and Clive Norris predicted 1 camera for every 14 people, and in high density areas this rises to 1 in 11. However, 18 years later we know these figures are somewhat inaccurate. CCTV.co.uk believes a figure of 1 for every 13 people is now a more acceptable average across UK cities.
Freedom of Information requests uncover that cameras operated by Local Authorities, Police and London Transport total 23,708 – which is just 3.4% of the total number in London. The remainder of CCTV cameras are operated by private businesses and homeowners totally over 96% – a number which is ever increasing.
Cities with the most CCTV Cameras in the UK:
- 689,000 – London
- 83,000 – Birmingham
- 58,000 – Leeds
- 46,000 – Glasgow
- 43,000 – Sheffield
- 39,000 – Manchester
- 38,000 – Edinburgh
- 36,000 – Liverpool
- 33,000 – Bristol
- 27,000 – Cardiff
- 26,000 – Leicester
- 25,000 – Coventry
- 24,000 – Nottingham
- 23,000 – Bradford
- 22,000 – Belfast
- 22,000 – Newcastle upon Tyne
- 20,000 – Milton Keynes
- 20,000 – Plymouth
- 20,000 – Hull
- 20,000 – Wolverhampton
“These numbers may send shivers down the spine of those worried about state monitoring, however it appears that the Government controls less than 4% of the total CCTV cameras in the UK – most are just homeowners protecting their property”, concludes James Ritchey from CCTV.co.uk
Jenny has been reporting on small business issues since 2001 where she held a number of freelance positions across the leading SME publications in the UK. Specialist subjects included SME financing and tax.