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:
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