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Big Brother is watching you in Newham

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 April 2012

Newham has 16 CCTV cameras for every square mile in the borough.

The council spent almost £400,000 maintaining the devices in the last four years, according to figures revealed by campaign group Big Brother Watch.

The number also exceeds the total number of cameras used in neighbouring Waltham Forest and Barking and Dagenham boroughs combined.

However, the council also spent significantly less on its cameras than other authorities, with Redbridge shelling out almost 10 times as much on maintaining 239 cameras.

The cameras are installed in response to the number of incidents in any one area. They keep watch over the borough’s busiest areas, including Stratford, East Ham and Green Street.

The council said the cameras have proven a deterrent against crime.

Nick Pickles, from Big Brother Watch, said the number reflected Britain’s “out-of-control surveillance culture.”

He said: “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.

“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 4,000 extra police officers on the streets.”

Based on figures from April to December last year, 65 arrests were made in Newham as a result of CCTV.

A further 88 arrests were made from evidence gathered from the cameras.

A Newham Council spokesman said: “Where crime does take place it aids in the capture and prosecution of those involved in crime and antisocial behaviour.

“The decision on where to site cameras is intelligence led and made in consultation with the police and relevant partners.

“These cameras are also accessed by Transport for London for traffic monitoring and the police to their central London control room.”


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