The Most Surveilled Cities Across The World

The most surveilled cities across the world

The surveillance concept known as Big Brother has been widely discussed when CCTV or security cameras are involved. With a rocky and long history, security cameras have always had a bad reputation regarding surveillance and privacy breaches. But that’s not the actual purpose of such security measures.

Security cameras and surveillance aim to bring security to businesses, homes and individuals who have something to protect – money, goods or safety. Despite this, there are a few cities across the world that are notorious for being high security and are becoming increasingly surveilled. But which cities are the most surveilled globally?

Surveillance is increasingly becoming a security and safety issue for everyday people who worry about Big Brother theories. This article looks at the most surveilled cities globally concerning security cameras.

Top 5 Most Surveilled Cities Globally

With over 10,000 cities worldwide, there will be a vast diversity in culture, social expectations, religions and security. Different countries have different regulations and laws that shape the type of surveillance their government, business and citizens will have. Below are the top five most surveilled cities from five different counties across the globe.

Taiyuan, China

According to a study done by Compairtech, nine Chinese cities are in the top 10 most surveilled cities. This information is based on the density and ratio of cameras per 1,000 people. China has become notorious for its widespread use of surveillance technology and the large volume of cities placed in high ranks from the Compairtech analysis.

According to this study, Taiyuan is the world’s most surveilled city, with over 120 public CCTV cameras per 1,000 people. With a population of nearly 3.9 people, that’s almost one camera for every eight people. It’s estimated that around 54 per cent of the world’s surveillance cameras are found throughout China.

As Taiyuan has the highest density of surveillance cameras, you would expect low crime rates. Despite the ratio of cameras to citizens, it has the highest crime index in the country – coming in at a high 51.47 compared to Beijing’s 34.27.

London, England

London is the only city outside China to crack the top 10 most surveilled cities, with 67 cameras per 1,000 people. The city is notorious for its strict surveillance in public areas and has over 1,000 CCTV cameras per square mile.

According to a study by CCTV UK, the average Londoner is caught on CCTV cameras 300 times a day. Since there is no precise figure on the number of CCTV cameras across London, it’s hard to see the full extent of surveillance. Like many other countries, the regulations and laws around CCTV and surveillance technology are vague and don’t control the use of security. This global issue needs to be addressed as we continue to see more and more use of surveillance technology.

Moscow, Russia

While Moscow doesn’t have a higher ratio of security cameras or CCTV systems like other cities, they have had a spike in facial recognition technology installed across the city. There are over 105,000 cameras connecting areas across the city.  It has most commonly been used throughout COVID-19 lockdowns to ensure those in isolation aren’t leaving their homes or hotels.

Russia ranks third in the world for the volume of CCTV cameras across the country and uses this connected system to host the world’s most comprehensive surveillance systems in Moscow. As stated by the city’s governing bodies, the aim is to increase public safety and the spread of coronavirus. Despite this, there is a growing concern over the population’s lack of regulations and privacy concerns.

Delhi, India

Delhi outranks most cities on this list with over 1,800 CCTV cameras per square mile. This is the highest density of cameras in the world, surpassing even the most surveillance cities in China. There is no clear information about who controls this extensive system of cameras. Some sources say police control two to five per cent of the cameras; others say around 50 per cent. There are no consistent answers which raise the issue of whether or not these cameras are being used for safety or unethical surveillance.

Beverly Hills, United States

Beverly Hills is a city found within Los Angeles County. The city is known for its wealthy residents and high-end shopping strips swarming with security cameras. There is around one security camera for every 17 residents. The small population of 32,500 pushes it high into the ranks.

There has already been a commitment from the local city council to install more cameras and surveillance technology. This has made some residents feel more protected, while others are left wondering what this outcome will lead to. When there is more surveillance, the lines between right and wrong start to blur, according to Shobita Parthasarathy, director of Science, Technology and Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

What Does The Data Mean For Future Surveillance?

In 2020, there were around 770 million security cameras worldwide – and this number was expected to reach over 1 billion by the end of 2021.

This increase in surveillance and CCTV systems has people on a global scale cautious about their personal information and life being watched in a Big Brother style of surveillance. One of the main pushes for CCTV installation is to fight crime and reduce illegal activity, but Compairtech found little correlation between the installation and reduced crime rates.

CCTV isn’t a negative or inherently wrong technology when used primarily to protect your assets and loved ones. If you want to learn more about CCTV systems, view our products page here. At Dorani, we focus on security audio and visual equipment to help you feel safe in your home. Contact our team for more information.



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