Erm, really?

This has the accidental effect of letting us all know how much CCTV cameras cost. According to the council, training a camera on Oscar\’s cigarette would cost £175,000 over 10 years. The mind boggles, doesn\’t it? CCTV cameras are supposed to be a cost-effective way of fighting crime.

I appreciate that a certain amount of maintenance and upkeep will be required – but £17,500 a year?

How many of the things do we actually have around? 4.2 million?

Mmmmmm. £71 billion pounds a year on them? 5% of total GDP? Twice the military budget? The take from VAT?

There\’s one of two things going on here.

1) We\’re spending vastly too much on this technology.

2) The council is lying about the cost.

Your choice as to which.


14 thoughts on “CCTV”

  1. I imagine most of the ten-year costs are actually installation – remember it costs £114,000 to install a zebra crossing.

  2. And, of course, I forgot the third option – the council actually are sufficiently dim and cannot be held to proper account for matters fiscal that they don’t know, so thought of a number and doubled it. Not lying so much as mendacious ignorance.

    You can actually have all three – they guessed at a number, then thought it was too low so ‘modified it’ to justify not doing the job and the real cost is still ghastly.

    Ellipsis – point taken, the cameras themselves are quite cheap – so (assuming which we are not, accurate figures) the vast majority of the cost must be installation, monitoring and maintenance but if you are bolting the camera to somewhere with an electrical supply (a street light, a signpost), all you need to worry about is the data link and many areas use WiMax or similar (or you just run the data cable down the existing power trunking.)

    £17.5k is probably about a third of the annual cost of a police constable (possibly a bit less, with allowances, in Westminster.) So, if we cut all the cameras, how many more real cops could we have.

    Finally, if, as a mild suggestion, they were sawing off the bronze fag (

  3. “an extra milion coppers”

    Shudder. Since most of the current crop spend their time bullying kids to accept cautions for non-offences, I hate to think what a million extra people from the left half of the bell curve will do to us all.

  4. And, again, it’s not “either / or”. Some more police (or, lets be honest, investment allowing our current police to concentrate on what is important not on faddish nu-Lab targets) and far, far fewer cameras.

    And lower Council Tax while we’re at it!

  5. I think you’ll find that the overwhelming majority of CCTV cameras are not funded out of the public purse, but by business.

    Incidentally, I recently caught a glimpse inside the CCTV monitoring room in Hereford town centre (hardly a crime hotspot), and the extended banks of screens gave me the willies. Interestingly, the operation there is contracted out toRemploy.

  6. According to this, London’s 10,500 CCTV cameras have cost the taxpayer £200million over the last ten years (ca £1,900 per camera annually, if my maths is correct). It’s not clear, though, whether this covers all the running costs.

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