A new study by research website Comparitech has found that London is the 6th most surveilled city on the planet, with the top five cities all being in Communist China.
The study looked at 120 cities globally, and found that the top ten with most public CCTV cameras per 1,000 inhabitants were practically all in China.
Central Chinese city Chongqing tops the list with 168 public cameras per 1000 inhabitants. The study found that by 2022, China is projected to have one public CCTV camera for every two people
Another four Chinese cities, including Shanghai, make up the top five… and then it’s London with 68.4 cameras per 1000 inhabitants.
The US city of Atlanta comes in at number 10, just behind Beijing.
In considering China’s mass surveillance, the study notes that
China is also a fervent adopter of face recognition surveillance. It is often used to restrict individuals’ freedom of movement in combination with the country’s social credit system. If someone’s social credit is too low, for example, they can be barred from using certain types of public transportation. Cameras equipped with face recognition technology are put in place at transportation hubs to enforce these rules.
That could never happen in London though right? Wrong.
Between 2016 and 2018 London Metropolitan police used facial recognition cameras indiscriminately around Kings Cross station, and only stopped when legal challenges were made.
It is not yet known how the images from the cameras were used.
So with that amount of cameras in London, it must be one of the safest places on the planet right?
Comparitech said that they found no connection between lower crime rates or a heightened feeling of security and surveillance in the cities surveyed.
That’ll explain all the stabbings. Last year was London’s bloodiest in a decade – when the number of homicides reached 132 – and the violence continues to plague the capital with 2019 set to eclipse that record.
As of September 6, there have been 99 violent deaths in the capital.
Twenty teens have been killed in the capital this year, 18 of whom were fatally stabbed.
But London mayor Sadiq Khan says the city is ‘open’.
Open to record violence and Communist Chinese levels of surveillance. Nice.