Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Your web-site states that "The UK has more CCTV cameras per person than anywhere else in the world "

Please provide the source of this statistic, and indicate the robustness of the analysis. No doubt your considered response will want to reflect the difficulties of collecting comparable statistics acrss the entire world, given the huge uncertainty around the number of cameras in any given country.

Yours faithfully,

C Rodger

Information Commissioner’s Office

Link: [1]File-List

23rd December 2009

Case Reference Number IRQ0286258

Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for your email dated 23 December 2009 in which you have made a
request for information to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Your request is being dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.  We will respond by 25 January 2010 which, taking
into account the Christmas and New Year bank holidays, is 20 working days
from the day after we received your request.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Crowley

Assistant Internal Compliance Manager

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545 700 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/radD34D7_files/filelist.xml

Information Commissioner’s Office

1 Attachment

Link: [1]File-List

20 January 2010

Case Reference Number IRQ0286258

Dear C Rodger

I am writing further to my colleague’s acknowledgement dated 23 December
2009 and in response to your email dated the same day. In your email you
made a request for information. This has been dealt with in accordance
with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In your email you extracted a quotation from [2]our website which stated;

“The UK has more CCTV cameras per person than anywhere else in the
world.”

You then asked us to “provide the source of this statistic, and indicate
the robustness of the analysis”.

The statement that “The UK has more CCTV cameras per person than
anywhere else in the world " was placed on our website in January 2008
when we published our revised CCTV Code of Practice. This reflected a
widely held view at the time and was based primarily on research by
Michael McCahill and Clive Norris in 2002. This provided what was
considered by many to be the best available estimate that there were
around 4.2 million CCTV cameras in operation across the UK. We accept
that it is difficult to verify the accuracy of this estimate but what is
not in doubt is that at the time the UK was recognised as a leading user
of CCTV. It is generally accepted that the UK led the world from CCTV’s
early introduction in the 1970s to the massive growth in CCTV installation
and use in the 1990s. It is also clear that over a number of years the UK
Government invested very heavily in public space CCTV schemes and between
1999 and 2003 the Home Office made a total of over £170 million of
capital funding available to local authorities. People in this country
are used to seeing CCTV cameras on virtually every high street and such
systems continue to enjoy considerable public support in the UK.

However, we recognise that the statement on our website is out of date and
we cannot say with any certainty whether this estimate still holds true.
We are also aware that more recent research suggests that the estimate of
4.2 million CCTV cameras should be treated with caution because it was
based on a survey of streets in London. We have also seen reports of
more recent research by IMS Research, which produces an annual report on
video surveillance worldwide based on global sales of CCTV cameras, which
has calculated there are 3.2 million cameras in the UK. Given the
uncertainty of the UK figures and the fact that other countries are
investing heavily in CCTV, we have updated the CCTV webpage. Thank you
for drawing this matter to our attention.

I hope this information is useful. If you are dissatisfied with the
response you have received and wish to request a review of our decision or
make a complaint about how your request has been handled you should write
to the Internal Compliance Team at the address below or e-mail
[3][email address]

Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response. Any such request
received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.

If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation.  To make such an application, please write
to the Case Reception Team, at the address below or visit the
‘Complaints’ section of our website to make a Freedom of Information
Act or Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.

 

A copy of our review procedure is attached.

Yours sincerely

Adam Stevens

Assistant Internal Compliance Manager.

show quoted sections

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545 700 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/radCDE41_files/filelist.xml
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/...
3. mailto:[email address]

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