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Feb 22

The scale of local authority CCTV exposed

Today we’ve launched a new report ‘The Price of Privacy‘ exposing the true scale of council surveillance. Totalling spending of £515m, there are now 51,600 cameras controlled by local authorities, a much higher figure than previously thought. The report has featured on Sky News, in The GuardianDaily Mail and is front page of today’s Herald. The paper also led its opinion pages with a call to ‘stand up to the Big Brother mentality‘.

The picture varies significantly across the country and the huge increase in surveillance has not been a co-ordinated and intelligence-led response to crime, but a haphazard and badly measured rush to spy on citizens. The variations in how much councils were able to tell us, and the wide range of different structures in place to manage and monitor cameras, highlights the need for a national review of CCTV and its regulation.

Criminal Record Checks hit 3m in one year

Figures we published last week exposed how in just one year 2,981,958 CRB checks were made by 3,924 registered bodies.That’s a staggering 1 in 17 of the British population undergoing the check. The vast number of organisations with access to the system means it is easier than ever to jump into the data and rummage around for details of an individual’s private life. Shockingly, they don’t even need to tell the person concerned when they run a CRB check on their background.