CCTV is widespread in the UK with an estimated 4.5 million cameras (and growing). In the UK there are more CCTV cameras pro rata population than any other Country in the World or more per hectare of land.

It may now be impossible, unless you are in an isolated spot (very few) not to have your image recorded as you move round on a daily basis. But do not be too sure, cameras can see for miles.

CCTV is not restricted to fixed positions, it can be found on all sorts of transport and also in places where it would not be expected.  Never presume that the reason and case for having it say in public toilets has not been made to site it there. Even I raised an eyebrow when I first saw CCTV in such places.

Employees can also expect overt and covert observation. Many also have audio capability and can also listen in.

The effect of having so much observation in society and everyday life has led to the wearing of items such as hooded garments, baseball caps to prevent the capture of full face images. Increasingly depending on the policing arrangements in an area, CCTV means little to some criminals.  A long list of offending does not mean heavy penalties if the matters ever get to Court.  About 50 percent of offences never get to Court, when there over 50 percent of fines never get paid. The UK must have the weakest justice system in the World.

CCTV has not stopped increasing public violence and disorder on UK streets.  Of course the retail sector need CCTV, it is part of the stagey that is needed in the war against theft and fraud that takes place daily in all retail outlets every day and all day.

In some UK retail premises, it is possible to lose count of dome and fixed CCTV cameras.

All this of course makes money via registration under the Data Protection Act. In time expect to see job creation Inspectors, no doubt with the power to issue fixed penalty fines for simple rule breaks.


When the Retail Security Officer (RSO) is away in a local retail outlet I visit, I am able to stand there and watch open shop theft. The Staff busy themselves in other areas, with poor English, the excuse not to understand me is there.

There is a modern CCTV system in this outlet and this is an example of its ineffectiveness without physical presence.