Hounslow Tops Capital's CCTV Big Spender's List

Cameras cost local taxpayers more than £1m a year to operate

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Hounslow Council spends more on CCTV than any other local authority in London according to a new report released by Big Brother Watch.

Collating responses to Freedom of Information Requests, Big Brother Watch revealed that 336 councils spent a total of £314,835,170.39 on installing and operating CCTV cameras during the 2007 to 2010 period.

Hounslow Council came out as the top spender in the Capital with a bill of £3,573,186.45 and fifth in the UK.

Commenting on the cost of CCTV, Big Brother Watch Director Alex Deane said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

The authorities that spent the most on CCTV during the 2007 to 2010 period are:

1. Birmingham (£10,476,874.00)
2. Sandwell (£5,355,744.00)
3. Leeds (£3,839,675.00)
4. City of Edinburgh (£3,600,560.00)
5. Hounslow (£3,573,186.45)
6. Lambeth (£3,431,301.00)
7. Manchester (£3,347,310.00)
8. Enfield (£3,141,295.00)
9. Barnet (£3,119,020.00)
10. Barking and Dagenham (£3,090,000.00)

The UK spends more per head on CCTV coverage than 38 countries do on defence and total spending amounts to more than the entire annual budgets of eight independent nations.

We have asked Hounslow Council for comment

November 30, 2010