Over 400 CCTV cameras in South Tyneside

People in South Tyneside are being watched by more CCTV cameras than they were three years ago, new figures show.

CCTV camera numbers.
CCTV camera numbers.

Figures obtained through freedom of information requests show there were 427 cameras controlled by South Tyneside Council in summer this year – up one per cent from 421 in 2019.

Nationally the data shows the number of cameras has increased 15% over three years - from 79,022 to 91,081.

Hide Ad

Corps Monitoring, a security firm, said that the national rise in CCTV may be due to a fall in the cost of equipment in recent years, alongside the wider availability of high-speed internet.

Big Brother Watch, a group that campaigns against public surveillance, said that the number of CCTV cameras is "out of control", and raised concerns about the potential use of facial recognition to track people.

The use of facial recognition by some UK police forces has sparked controversy in recent years, with groups including Big Brother Watch saying they are worried about the potential for bias and racial profiling through the technology.

Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, said that the Government should commission an independent review into "the scale, capabilities, rights and ethics" of CCTV .

Hide Ad

But Corps Monitoring says that the wider availability of CCTV cameras is an asset to people and businesses looking to improve their security.

In January, the Government updated its code of practice for surveillance cameras, saying that any cameras should be only used for a "specific purpose", and that operators should be as transparent as possible over how they are used.