Number of UK CCTV cameras tops 5 million


The number of CCTV Cameras in the UK may be as many as 5.2 million, with 1 camera for every 13 people as the popularity of public surveillance, home CCTV and doorbell camera use increases. 96% of the total number of cameras in the UK are now operated by private businesses and homeowners.

Previously the number of cameras in the UK was estimated at 4.8 million. However, it is now believed that this number has jumped to 5.2 million as the cost of technology comes down and the popularity of sub £200 surveillance camera systems and doorbell cameras increases.

Anxiety over lockdown and the increase in mail order purchases have driven the use of DIY CCTV systems at home for monitoring and security purposes.

“It won’t come as a shock to most people that the number of CCTV Cameras in the UK has hit a new high, driven mainly by residents installing home CCTV in the last year. The popularity of doorbell cameras is relentless”, explains James Ritchey from CCTV installation company CCTV.co.uk

“The technology is getting much cheaper, and when we look at the number of doorbell cameras, DIY CCTV and Home CCTV systems being installed by homeowners currently, we think the numbers have risen much more than we previously thought”, explains Ritchey.


A survey in 2002 by writers Michael McCahill and Clive Norris predicted 1 camera for every 14 people, and in high density areas this rises to 1 in 11. However, 18 years later we know these figures are somewhat inaccurate. CCTV.co.uk believes a figure of 1 for every 13 people is now a more acceptable average across UK cities.

Freedom of Information requests have uncovered that cameras operated by Local Authorities, Police and London Transport total 23,708 – which is just 3.4% of the total number in London. The remainder of CCTV cameras are operated by private businesses and homeowners totally over 96% – a number which is ever increasing.

“These numbers may send shivers down the spine of those worried about state monitoring, however it appears that the Government controls less than 4% of the total CCTV cameras in the UK – most are just homeowners protecting their property”, concludes James Ritchey from CCTV.co.uk.

Cities with the most CCTV Cameras in the UK:

  • 689,000 – London
  • 83,000 – Birmingham
  • 58,000 – Leeds
  • 46,000 – Glasgow
  • 43,000 – Sheffield
  • 39,000 – Manchester
  • 38,000 – Edinburgh
  • 36,000 – Liverpool
  • 33,000 – Bristol
  • 27,000 – Cardiff
  • 26,000 – Leicester
  • 25,000 – Coventry
  • 24,000 – Nottingham
  • 23,000 – Bradford
  • 22,000 – Belfast
  • 22,000 – Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 20,000 – Milton Keynes
  • 20,000 – Plymouth
  • 20,000 – Hull
  • 20,000 – Wolverhampton
Nov 19, 2020Chris Price

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