Top 5 Cities with the Largest Surveillance Camera Networks

Here at VinTech, we believe your feelings of safety and security should never feel compromised, and the best protection is prevention. Cities around the world are building up their surveillance networks to help protect our communities. Here in Chicago, Mayor Daley stated, “Cameras identify the individual who has committed the crime. Simple as that….An enormous amount of cases were solved overwhelmingly by a camera: identification of a car, a license plate and a face. … This is one of the better programs in saving taxpayers money and also not allowing abuse”.

Ever wondered where the largest surveillance camera networks were located?

According to the security industry, the top 5 largest security camera network cities are:


1. Beijing
About 400,000 surveillance cameras have been installed in Beijing and 70,000 have been added since the end of 2010, according to the Beijing Security and Protection Industry Association (BSPIA).


2. London
Surveillance cameras do not have to be registered in London, so there are no exact statistics. A recent sampling found that 41 percent of public premises in London have CCTV equipment, and they estimate there is around 420,000 cameras in the city of London.

The United Kingdom began installing video surveillance cameras since the 1960s, and by August of 1996, all major cities had cameras. Today, the U.K., as a whole, has the largest network of surveillance cameras with an estimated 1.85 million cameras, or one camera for every 14 people.


3. Chicago
In 2005, Operation Virtual Shield (OVS), a Homeland Security Grid, was established in Chicago that is composed of 600 miles of fiber optics stretching across the city. The feeds from these surveillance cameras and sensors are centrally monitored by the City’s Operation Center for emergencies. The system captures and processes camera feeds in real time, and is able to detect suspicious or dangerous activity and identify its location. It is estimated there are more than 17,000 cameras in Chicago, including 4,000 installed by Chicago Public Schools and at least 1,000 at O’Hare International Airport. Chicago has the largest, most sophisticated surveillance network in the United States at this present time. Mayor Daley “has called it the “next best thing” to a police officer on every corner”.


Pictured: Operation Virtual Shield in Chicago. Click image to watch video.


4. Houston
The number of surveillance cameras in Houston “is unpublished”, but we do know the numbers are growing. The city of Houston has an estimated population of 2.3 million, and a crime rate that nearly matches Chicago: 1,100 vs. Chicago’s 1,200 violent crimes. The reason for this secrecy and controversy is Homeland Security protects the US border. “Houston is a staunch “sanctuary city” with a huge illegal alien population.” Harold Hurtt, head of DHS’s immigration enforcement program, “adamantly enforced don’t-ask-don’t-tell immigration measures that prevented officers from inquiring about a suspects’ immigration status”. For this reason, among others, the exact number of security cameras is not released to the public.


5. New York
It is estimated there are more than 4,450 cameras in the city of New York, mostly owned by private companies.


Pictured: Chongqing, China
By next year (2012), the city of Chongqing, China is forecast to surpass London and Beijing’s security system and take the reign as world’s largest city surveillance network with more than 500,000 cameras. These cameras will be used for crime prevention, emergency controls and rescue operations.

Although surveillance is sometimes considered like “Big Brother” or “intrusive”, etc, VinTech believes public security cameras are necessary. Chicago’s Mayor Daley stated, “What cameras are is to prevent crime — to tell criminals, ‘Yes, you are gonna be focused [on].’ There’s nothing wrong with that. And to have the good citizens, use our sidewalk and our parks, have our children go to and from school. Have our families go to and from church and feel comfortable. We’re not spying on anybody. This is the public way. We’re not spying or identifying or racial profiling anyone.”

Installing a high quality video surveillance system at your home or business is one of the best investments you can make, not just to help protect your property, but also your community. Together, we will improve the safety of America.

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