How Many CCTV Cameras are in London?

Have you ever stopped to wonder how many cameras have recorded your movements, on any given trip to the shop, day out, or journey around your home area and within our capital city, London? Well, we’re here to tell you just how many CCTV cameras there are in London, why there are so many, and offer up some statistics that may surprise you.

How many CCTV Cameras are in London?

Recent estimates suggest there are now an astounding 942,562 CCTV cameras scattered across London.

Why so many, you might ask?

It’s largely due to a combination of criminal activity and legal requirements around CCTV, which has driven many businesses to invest in CCTV to enhance their security. This is also true for domestic use, both inside and outside the home, as a deterrent for crime. This is particularly prevalent in a capital city like London where footfall is huge and the crime rates tend to be higher.

CCTV Cameras in London

While it’s relatively simple to determine the number of CCTV cameras used by the council and government buildings, studies continue to calculate the number of CCTVs deployed by private businesses and individual households. Although the calculations can’t be exact, a figure of 942,562 is the latest estimate of surveillance cameras in London.

What about the London Underground CCTV?

To ensure safety and reduce crime in an extremely busy underground system like London’s, there are an extensive number of CCTV cameras in operation to fight crime. Studies reveal that the station with the most cameras is King’s Cross and St. Pancras, with 408 cameras monitoring approximately 81 million people per year. This is followed by the top nine stations:

  1. Oxford Circus – 309
  2. Waterloo – 303
  3. Green Park – 210
  4. Elephant & Castle – 190
  5. Bank/Monument – 182
  6. Westminster – 177
  7. Piccadilly Circus – 175
  8. Wembley Park – 171
  9. Canary Wharf – 167

While this amounts to a significant quantity of footage, it is typically retained for a fortnight.

As you can imagine, this results in an incredible amount of footage, but believe it or not, it is still held for two weeks.

An obvious reason as to why there are more CCTV cameras in some places than others is because crime rates tend to be higher in Kings Cross and St Pancras as opposed to Canary Wharf.

Not to mention that these are much larger stations that pull in more footfall due to tourism; this is a similar case to Oxford Circus and Waterloo, attracting footfall to the famous London Eye and Westminster Abbey.

Tourists can be unfamiliar to the area’s geography or traditional London customs, making them easy targets for petty criminals such as pickpockets or scam artists. That being said, this doesn’t mean that other busy locations such as Wembley Park lack in CCTV activity; 171 units is still an impressive amount there to monitor sport supporters and music fans.

London CCTV Facts

With a considerable number of cameras in operation around London, here are some interesting global and local facts:

  • 25 Million CCTV Cameras: It is estimated that there are approximately 25 million CCTV cameras globally. Britain holds a high percentage of these with a recorded number of around 4 million. The United Kingdom has more CCTV activity than any other European country, per capita. This is reflected in the fact that the Wandsworth borough in London alone has more CCTV cameras than Boston, Dublin, Johannesburg and San Francisco combined.
  • Caught on Camera 300 Times: It’s also a well-known fact that the average person living in London will be recorded on camera 300 times in a single day.
  • Over £300 million: Between 2007 and 2010, over £300m was spent on the installation and operation of CCTV units alone. These have all been put into place to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour and, should crime occur, these events will be recorded and used lawfully to seek justice.

London CCTV Statistics

The city of London is divided into 33 boroughs, and the number of cameras in each of these areas varies, due to factors such as:

  • Crime levels
  • Transport links
  • Footfall.

BBC statistics show that the two areas with the highest number of cameras per 1,000 people are Wandsworth and Camden.

As a result, more people may live in this area, due to its useful transport links, so the population of people in this area will always be high.

Camden on the other hand has a larger footfall from tourism due to its large number of attractions, performance venues and a popular alternative shopping scene. Thus, there are more private businesses that would be investing in CCTV cameras to ensure the welfare of their companies.

With a smaller number of cameras in the borough of Hounslow, located on the outskirts of London, we can make some smart assumptions. Being situated on the outskirts of London, it’s safe to assume Hounslow presents less attractions, less tourism and a smaller number of busy railway stations.

Consequently, there’s less reason for there to be as many cameras as an inner city borough. Although Hounslow is a somewhat large and affluent area, it can be argued that lower crime rates has meant there is no need for a large amount of CCTV.

The number of CCTV cameras does not appear to be directly proportional to the size of the borough.

How Many People in London? 

To determine the current population of London, it’s crucial to look at the most recent census data. 

Based on this official count the number of people in London was 8.8 million. Before this figure, in 2011, the census accounted for 8 million people.

How Many CCTV Cameras in the UK?

While London has a large number of CCTV cameras, how many are there in the rest of the UK? Recent studies from the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) show that there are between 4m and 5.9m CCTV surveillance cameras in the UK.

These estimates are based on information collected from over 200 sectors, including sewage works, local shops and educational systems.

This study includes both public facing and private cameras and counts those situated in store rooms, as well as watching the pavement outside shops. As businesses grow and population increases – due to higher birth rates and increased life expectancy – more and more private sectors are taking the initiative by investing in CCTV to protect their companies and livelihood.

What’s also interesting to know is that major UK cities are also heavily populated with CCTV cameras. Cities such as:

  • Belfast
  • Edinburgh
  • Coventry
  • Wigan
  • Glasgow
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham

In fact, these cities have more closed circuit TV monitoring than Paris.

It’s worth noting that these are just averages and actual numbers can vary significantly. However, this does give a good indication of the vast amount of CCTV cameras operating in the UK.

Final Thoughts

As London is the largest city and biggest attraction for tourism, more and more people are taking it upon themselves to monitor their homes and businesses to deter crime and make for a more peaceful country. With effective CCTV solutions becoming more affordable and higher in resolution, now is the time to invest to secure your home or business.

Get in touch with Caught on Camera Ltd today for your very own top of the range, digital CCTV systems. Our experts also provide flawless installations, CCTV maintenance and general repairs. Whether you would like expert advice or wish to book our services, call us today so you can secure your property correctly.