Tens of thousands of cameras are watching Britain's every move, including roughly 8,000 in and around the city of London
Today Scotland Yard released photos of suspected rioters captured on CCTV cameras throughout London on Flickr.
The Met certainly has a lot of footage to draw on. Britain has enthusiastically embraced video surveillance over the last two decades in an effort to reduce crime. It has more cameras per capita than any other European country and is widely reported to have the most of any country in the world, though that comparison is not based on reliable data.
In London and its surrounding boroughs alone, local authorities have a minimum of 8,000 cameras trained on the public. If they were all running, they generated something like 36 million minutes of video of the last several days of rioting.
The estimates for just how many cameras have their sights trained on the British public vary wildly. A commonly quoted figure is that there are as many as 4.2 million cameras, or about one for every 14 people. This is a highly dubious estimate, based on a count on two London streets nearly a decade ago. There are no official statistics on the numbers of cameras operated by homeowners and shopkeepers, cameras the 4.2 million figure purports to include.