These Are The London Boroughs With The Most Public CCTV Cameras

These Are The London Boroughs With The Most Public CCTV Cameras
A CCTV camera next to Big Ben
Westminster doesn't feature in the top 10 most publically-surveilled boroughs in London. Image: iStock/allinvisuality

Often touted as one of the most-surveilled cities in the world, estimates for the number of CCTV cameras in London range between 627,700 and 942,500 — although many of these are private cameras.

As for CCTV cameras installed in public places, there are still quite a few — as new research from Get Licensed shows. From a series of FOIs, it has drawn up a top 10 of the 'most-watched' boroughs in Greater London — and the results are somewhat surprising:

Chart showing the top 10 boroughs covered by CCTV
Image: Get Licensed

Hillingdon is far and away the most surveilled borough — with 1,170 CCTV cameras operating in public spaces, and therefore 38.39 cameras per 10,000 people (almost double that of second-place Hammersmith and Fulham). With a population of around 305,000, Hillingdon is a relatively large — but by no means the largest — borough. In fact, the top two largest boroughs by population (Barnet and Croydon) don't feature in this top 10 at all. Rather, the high tally is almost certainly down to surveillance around the Heathrow Airport perimeter.

Something else unexpected: Westminster — a borough containing many of London's busiest streets, not to mention it most secure buildings — doesn't make the table, and neither does Kensington and Chelsea, which is home to some of London's wealthiest inhabitants.

So does all this CCTV this make Hillingdon the 'safest' borough in London? Well apparently, Richmond-upon-Thames has the lowest crime rate in London by some margin... and that doesn't feature in the list either.

Find out more on the research here

Last Updated 27 September 2023