Ever get the feeling you’re being watched?
You probably are if you’re walking or driving around Stoke-on-Trent as new data reveals the city has a whopping 20,000 CCTV cameras in use.
That’s one camera for every 13 people as the popularity of public surveillance, home CCTV and doorbell camera use in Stoke-on-Trent increases.
The number is rising year on year as the cost of technology comes down and the popularity of sub-£200 surveillance camera systems and doorbell cameras increases.
And anxiety over lockdown and an increase in mail order purchases has driven the use of DIY CCTV systems at home for monitoring and security purposes.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has defended its use of CCTV cameras.
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Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for infrastructure, said: “CCTV is one of a number of tools to help to continue to keep communities, towns and our city centre safe.
“We monitor a number of cameras, particularly in busy or popular locations and work closely with the emergency services to escalate incidents that may need their attention.
“The technology has improved in recent years, and the cameras we use are high-definition, which is really important in ensuring the images we gather are clear. Residents should be reassured that the cameras we monitor are in place to support them.
“Our city is a welcoming place for residents, visitors and shoppers and we and other public services work hard to put community safety at the top of our priorities, and we remain committed to doing this.”
Stoke-on-Trent is in the top 20 for the most CCTV cameras in the UK. London is top with 702,000 cameras.
The data has been compiled by CCTV.co.uk which installs and repairs systems in the Potteries.
Company spokesman James Ritchey said: “It won’t come as a shock to most people that the number of CCTV cameras in Stoke-on-Trent has hit a new record, driven mainly by residents installing home CCTV in the last year. The popularity of doorbell cameras is relentless.”
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