What’s the price of privacy? £4m

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CAMPAIGNERS have revealed that Wakefield Council has run up a £4m CCTV bill in the last four years.

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch released figures earlier this week which showed the council is one of 18 local authorities spending more than £1m a year on surveillance.

According to the data the cost of running 177 cameras across the district between April 2007 and March 2011 came to £4.11m.

Glynn Humphries, service director for the council’s cleaner and greener department, said: “The costs quoted are not representative of the yearly ongoing costs and the figure includes additional one-off costs when the CCTV was moved and upgraded.”

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said cameras were doing little to improve public safety.

He added: “Surveillance is an important tool in modern policing but it is not a substitute. In too many cities across the country every corner has a camera but only a few ever see a police officer.”

See this week’s Express for the full story.