Wigan under intense CCTV surveillance

Wigans CCTV monitoring suite
Wigans CCTV monitoring suite
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Wigan is under some of the most intense CCTV surveillance in the entire country, new research has shown.

The borough has the third-highest number of cameras of any towns in the country is still the UK’s fourth most watched place when cities outside of London are included.

There are a total of 547 cameras throughout Wigan and Leigh. Without taking the capital into account only Woking, Bristol and Swindon have more cameras with 691, 658 and 606 respectively.

These figures are of course dwarfed by the amount of technological assistance being used to keep London’s streets safe.

The borough of Hackney, for example, has an enormous 2,900 CCTV cameras alone.

However, even with London’s massive surveillance taken into account Wigan is still the country’s 11th most scrutinised place.

Wigan Council said its cameras cover the UK’s ninth largest metropolitan borough at 77 square miles, also the biggest in Greater Manchester.

Paul Barton, director of environment at the town hall, said: “Across our borough we have six main town centres which are all covered by CCTV and many additional smaller residential areas which are also covered along with our parks and retail areas.

“The CCTV team plays a vital role in keeping all our communities safe and reducing the risks to our residents and buildings.

“Our trained officers monitor all CCTV to provide reassurance for everyone who works, lives in and visits in our borough and they provide essential support to the prevention and detection of crime.”

The data on the number of cameras registered by local authorities was compiled by RS Components.

Announcing the findings researchers said the data revealed “surprisingly low” numbers of cameras in many major British cities.

Manchester, for instance, has just 263 cameras, while Nottingham has 214, Edinburgh 238 and Sheffield 159.

Even Birmingham, which has a population of 1.1m, only has 422 cameras.

With 323,100 residents living in the borough there is one camera for every 591 people, almost four times the surveillance density of its neighbouring city Manchester where the rate is one per 2,058 residents.

Vishal Chhatralia from RS Components said: “We wanted to make the public aware of how much they are being watched on a daily basis by CCTV.”

A full list of the borough’s cameras is available to view at Wigan Council’s website.

View the research at uk.rs-online.com/web/generalDisplay.html?id=i/cctv-hotspots-uk