How many CCTV cameras are in London?

Research by Clarion Security Systems estimates that there are over 942,562 CCTV Cameras in London, meaning there is 1 CCTV camera for every 10 people in the capital. (2022)

London is home to over 9,425,622 residents and there are numerous sources of data on the internet about the London CCTV camera numbers. We have performed freedom of information requests to ascertain the exact numbers of CCTV systems in operation by the London boroughs, the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London.

From research and widely circulated figures, we can state that London is one of the most heavily monitored cities in the world, and rightly so. The threat of terrorism is constant and CCTV helps mitigate this by providing surveillance 365 days a year to counter this threat.

There is no legislation that states that homeowners and businesses need to register CCTV cameras with a government body, so any figure, when looking to answer “How many CCTV cameras are there in London?” is based on a ‘guesstimate.’ However we have used Freedom Of Information requests and other in-depth research to come to a conclusion that helps us provide an educated estimate.

Research by Clarion Security Systems estimates that there is over 942,562 CCTV Cameras in London’s 607 square miles, equating to 1552.82 CCTV cameras per square mile. (2022)

The numbers of CCTV cameras in London vary and the data is often based on old estimates or research. One that is often cited is that of a 2002 survey by Michael McCahill and Clive Norris which cited 500,000 CCTV cameras in London. This figure is widely disputed based on the fact that McCahill and Norris used a small sample size to come up with their figures. Couple this with the fact that this number is from 2002 when the population was 7,376,671.

How many times is an average Londoner caught on CCTV?

An often-cited figure of 300 times a day is usually used and is based on the idea that you will visit all of the known CCTV hotspots. This figure was proven to be too high and is more than likely to be around 70 times per day.

How many government cameras are there in London?

The information we have is based on freedom of information requests. The 34 London boroughs have over 20,873 CCTV cameras in operation.

We have also used a survey which shows London CCTV camera numbers in 2012 in order to compare the growth/decline.

Research by Clarion Security Systems estimates that the amount of London Borough controlled CCTV cameras has risen from 7,911 (2012) to 20,873 (2022). An increase of 238.16% over the last 10 years.

London CCTV Numbers by Growth (2012 – 2022)

BoroughTotal Cameras (2012)Total Cameras (2022) % Increase/Decrease
Barking and Dagenham115728533% increase
Barnet141473235.46% increase
Bexley2472258.9% decrease
Brent21519111.16% decrease
Bromley17018710% increase
Camden79417278.33% decrease
City of London6491,10069.49% increase
Croydon8410626.19 % increase
Ealing39268273.98% increase
Enfield1691,053523.1% increase
Greenwich173734324.3% increase
HackneyN/A2,044N/A
Hammersmith and Fulham4521,852309.7% increase
Haringey102276170.6% increase
Harrow13011610.77% decrease
Havering86405371% increase
Hillingdon7222,328222.4% increase
HounslowN/A310N/A
IslingtonN/A148N/A
Kensington and Chelsea588091294.83% increase
Kingston upon Thames120627422.5% increase
Lambeth34847937.64% increase
Lewisham17022532.35% increase
Merton15021442.67% increase
Newham22634150.89% increase
Redbridge239592147.7% increase
Richmond upon Thames78802.56% increase
Southwark164501205.5% increase
Sutton85498485.88% increase
Tower Hamlets28035025% increase
Waltham Forest718501097.18% increase
Wandsworth1,1581,2528.12% increase
Westminster153632313.1% increase
Total791120,873238.16% increase

How many household and business CCTV cameras are there in London?

Although finding public operated CCTV cameras is easily researched, finding out numbers of household and business CCTV numbers in London is a harder task. A widely cited report is from the British Security Industry Association which was released in 2015. The numbers used here do not give a precise figure for London, it does provide useful information on the number of private cameras in operation compared to that of public operated CCTV cameras. The study estimated that across the entire UK private CCTV cameras could outnumber public CCTV cameras by as much as 70 to 1.

As London is one of the most surveilled cities in the world we would estimate that London is at the high end of this number. If public cameras in London stand at 63,449 then this would give us a figure of 4,441,430 CCTV cameras in London. This figure seems quite high when the British Security Industry Association study estimated that there were between 4.1 million and just over 5.9 million cameras nationwide in 2015.

The report also estimated that there would be 1 CCTV camera for every 14 people, and in the busiest of areas, this would rise to 1 in 11 people. Although parts of London are incredibly busy, it is also made up of suburbs where CCTV camera usage may be lower. London is home to over 1,000,000 businesses and approximately 3.59 million houses.

How many CCTV cameras are there in London?

With the large upturn in CCTV installations on homes across the UK during the Covid pandemic, we can confidently estimate that CCTV installations increased during this period, and over 7 years have passed since the 1 CCTV camera for every 14 people figured cited on the British Security Industry Association report, we would estimate that this is now at 1 CCTV camera for every 10 people, this would give us a figure of 942,562 CCTV cameras in London.

We can expect the number of CCTV cameras in London to pass 1,000,000 by 2023.

What Has Caused This Growth?

The growth of CCTV cameras in London is because of the efficiency of CCTV cameras and the growing security concerns within the capital. CCTV cameras help public bodies detect and deter crime on a daily basis, only if they are used properly of course. In 2010 The Met police said that CCTV helped solve ‘Six crimes a day’. This means that they need to be:

 – Installed legally and operated by trained personal

 – Located in areas that make them visible, without them being in easy reach of vandals who may look to tamper with them

 – Correctly specified and installed by trained personnel, especially when they potentially need to be used for evidential purposes.

CCTV camera numbers will continue to rise whilst security threats are prevalent and would-be criminals look to break into business premises or homes.

How many CCTV cameras are on the London Underground?

Transport for London (TfL) operates 15,576 cameras on the London underground. This is up from 6500 cameras operated by TFL in 2003.

How many CCTV cameras do the Met (Metropolitan) Police operate in London?

The Metropolitan Police own about 3000 cameras attached to the outside of their buildings, but most street cameras are owned and operated by local councils and TfL. They also operate over 24,000 body-worn cameras.

Total
London Boroughs 20,873
TfL15.576
Metropolitan Police (3,000 CCTV cameras on the side of buildings and 24,000 body-worn CCTV cameras).27000
Total63,449

Research by Clarion Security Systems estimates that the London boroughs, Transport for London and the Met Police operate around 63,449 CCTV cameras across London. (January 2022)

Last reviewed: January 2022 | Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0 | Produced as a guide for CCTV numbers in London.

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