The History of CCTV

The History of CCTV

There are up to 4.2m CCTV cameras across Britain- our tiny isle is in fact the most watched country on earth.

 Both the Shetland Islands Council and Corby Borough Council – among the smallest local authorities in the UK – have more CCTV cameras than the San Francisco Police Department!

In fact in Lerwick- the capital of the Shetlands, from the harbour stretching all the way to the town centre, a £240,000 network of 14 CCTV cameras records locals’ movements from almost the very moment that they leave their homes.

As recent at 1994- the only CCTV cameras were the ones used to monitor cashpoints at banks.- so how did we become so ‘Big Brother?’

CCTV in Britain’s began when a very rudimentary system was set up for the Queen’s coronation in 1953.

By the 1960s fixed cameras in London became a common occurrence but now, there is one CCTV camera for every eight people in the city! So what happened?

It was 1994 that John Major made ‘Major’ changes. He announced a new scheme that les to over £323million in grants to local authorities and police forces over four years. Since then the number of surveillance cameras has soared across the UK, where there were once around 21,000 council-operated CCTV cameras in the UK. Now there are more than 60,000 and an estimated four million cameras watch our every move across the country,

From shop cameras to cash machines and mobile traffic monitors, we are tracked wherever we go.

CCTV images can now be configured to use number plate recognition and even face-recognition to aid the police in catching criminals.  But on the look out for the bad guys- it is the ordinary decent folk who are also watched, so is our privacy exploited in the name of ‘safety’?