North East Councils Spend £17 Million On CCTV
21 February 2012, 06:36
In the UK, councils spent more than £500 million installing and operating CCTV cameras over the last four years.
Birmingham City and Westminster City councils topped the rankings for the most amount spent on CCTV - each spending more than £10 million on surveillance cameras.
Five local authorities now have more than 1,000 each, according to the Big Brother Watch report.
In the North East, Redcar and Cleveland council forked out the most - more than £3.5 million - followed by County Durham, then Darlington.
The £515 million spent between 2007/08 and 2010/11 could have put more than an extra 4,000 police constables on the streets, the equivalent to the entire Northumbria Police force.
Nick Pickles, the campaign group's director, said:
"Britain has an out-of-control surveillance culture that is doing little to improve public safety but has made our cities the most watched in the world.
Surveillance is an important tool in modern policing but it is not a substitute for policing.
In too many cities across the country every corner has a camera but only a few ever see a police officer.
Despite millions of cameras, Britain's crime rate is not significantly lower than comparable countries that do not have such a vast surveillance state.
There is no credible evidence that more cameras will reduce crime, yet councils have poured enough money into CCTV in just four years that would have put more than four thousand extra police officers on the streets."
The figures were released following responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act from 428 local authorities.
Across England and Wales, at least £515 million has been spent by councils over four years, with at least 51,655 cameras now being operated.
How The North East Ranks
Ranking / Region / Authority / Spending / Cameras
20 / North East / Redcar and Cleveland / £3,794,484.00 / 125
30 / North East / County Durham / £3,370,441.00 / 392
57 / North East / Darlington / £2,536,081.00 / 154
67 / North East / South Tyneside / £2,423,029.19 / 93
92 / North East / North Tyneside / £1,988,504.86 / 315
124 / North East / Gateshead / £1,571,353.91 / 76
147 / North East / Middlesbrough / £1,403,549.00 / 191
196 / North East / Stockton-on-Tees / £855,358.00 / 210
217 / North East / Northumberland / £701,590.57 / 85
303 / North East / Hartlepool / £251,602.00 / -
422 / Yorkshire and Humber / North Yorkshire / £- / 0
No response from Newcastle Upon Tyne