You can't go anywhere in London these days without being caught on CCTV camera. Buses, Trains, shops streets and buildings all sport these eyes. They don't provide any active security, a camera can't intervene in a mugging, but the proponents argue that they are useful at solving crimes. It looks as though the statistics tell another story.
London has spent £200 million installing 10,000 CCTV cameras, and yet the proportion of crimes solved is going down, not up -- and some boroughs with the more cameras have the worse crime-solving rates.
• There are now 10,524 CCTV cameras in 32 London boroughs funded with Home Office grants totalling about £200million.
• Hackney has the most cameras - 1,484 - and has a better-than-average clearup rate of 22.2 per cent.
• Wandsworth has 993 cameras, Tower Hamlets, 824, Greenwich, 747 and Lewisham 730, but police in all four boroughs fail to reach the average 21 per cent crime clear-up rate for London.
• By contrast, boroughs such as Kensington and Chelsea, Sutton and Waltham Forest have fewer than 100 cameras each yet they still have clear-up rates of around 20 per cent.
• Police in Sutton have one of the highest clear-ups with 25 per cent.
• Brent police have the highest clear-up rate, with 25.9 per cent of crimes solved in 2006-07, even though the borough has only 164 cameras.