The biggest council CCTV spenders per resident: Westminster… then Tamworth

Big Brother Watch’s newly-released data on £515m of council CCTV spending between 2007 and 2011 (covered by my colleague Sade Laja on Guardian Government Computing) is even more interesting when combined with population numbers. Obviously, camera spending per capita is not a perfect measure, as some areas clearly have security needs beyond those of their immediate populations. This would help to explain why Westminster is the biggest spender per head of population: £46.75 over the last four years, compared to a UK average of £8.27.
Continue reading “The biggest council CCTV spenders per resident: Westminster… then Tamworth”

Open up the numberplate recognition camera system

Police are reluctant to reveal locations of automatic numberplate recognition cameras, but their secretive approach is not working

This decision was reversed by a later tribunal in 2012, but the evidence shed new light on police ANPR systems, covered in this Guardian article. Continue reading “Open up the numberplate recognition camera system”

A tale of two cameras

Data from two councils, a rural district and a London borough, suggests big differences in spending on CCTV

Using Freedom of Information to find council CCTV costs, usage and efficiency in two contrasting areas of England. More recently, I have mapped comprehensive data collected by Big Brother Watch on this subject.

The debate over the use of CCTV can be rather sterile. The police, local authorities and other parts of the public sector present them as a public good, there “for your safety and security” as station announcements phrase it. Continue reading “A tale of two cameras”