Tower Hamlets is third biggest London spender on new CCTV

Big Brother is watching in Tower Hamlets, the third biggest spending London council on new CCTV cameras since 2007, according to a new report.

Council chiefs spent �1,361,000 on new CCTV technology, including cameras, in the last three years making it the UK’s sixth highest spending council.

Only Hounslow and Enfield spent more among London councils.

It is also 13th in a table of total UK council spenders on CCTV, adding maintenance and staffing costs, with �2,897,000 spent between 2007 and 2010.

Birmingham Council topped the research conducted by Big Brother Watch, with �10,476,874 going on the technology in the same period.

Daniel Hamilton, campaign director for Big Brother Watch, said: “Taxpayers in Tower Hamlets, one of the UK’s poorest boroughs, will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.

“This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime.

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“We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain.”

A council spokesman said: “Locations for CCTV cameras have been identified through reported crime and anti-social behaviour rates.

“At the moment there is no intention to add to the existing structure and no money is being made available for such work. Even so, we still get requests for CCTV.”

The council said there had been 701 arrests since January resulting from CCTV operators directing the police, including 115 for assault, 65 for robbery and 32 for burglary.