Tower Hamlets operates 280 CCTV cameras on public, says Big Brother Watch

PUBLISHED: 15:30 21 February 2012 | UPDATED: 07:57 22 February 2012

Tower Hamlets council operators monitor what's going on in the East End

Tower Hamlets council operators monitor what's going on in the East End


The public is under surveillance in the East End with 280 CCTV cameras operated by Tower Hamlets council round-the-clock, privacy and civil liberty campaigners have discovered.

This is in addition to police and TfL cameras, as well as the council’s mobile CCTV unit monitoring drivers.

Tower Hamlets has spent £3 million on cameras in four years, according to data collected by Big brother Watch under Freedom of Information requests to local authorities up and down the country.

“Britain has an out-of-control surveillance culture,” said the organisation’s director Nick Pickles. “It’s doing little to improve public safety, but has made our streets the most watched in the world.

“There is no credible evidence that more cameras reduce crime, yet local authorities have poured enough money into CCTV in just four years that would have put more than four-thousand extra police on the streets.”

But the number of cameras operated by Tower Hamlets council is insignificant compared to south-west London, where Wandsworth has 1,158 local authority cameras.

Britain has a fifth of the world’s public CCTV cameras—watching just one per cent the global population. The average Londoner is caught on camera 300 times every day, says Big Brother Watch.

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