Surveillance stats

Surveillance stats


The British public approves of CCTV cameras and generally accepts the usage of fingerprinting techniques, but thinks that using microphones to record conversations in public places is a step too far, our survey suggests.




  • 93% of the population approve of CCTV cameras in banks and building societies, 89% on tube trains, 86% outside pubs and 84% approve of their usage in town high streets.
  • The approval rating of CCTV cameras in taxis is slightly lower, with 69% of the population approving and 19% disapproving.
  • When it comes to other surveillance methods, some people appear to be more slightly more dubious although approval levels remain considerable.

  • 65% approve of photographing airline passengers, and just over one in five (22%) disapproves.
  • The majority (51%) approves of roadside fingerprinting of alleged suspects, but one third (33%) disapproves.
  • Similarly, 51% approve of fingerprinting airline passengers, compared to 34% who disapprove.
  • And an overwhelming 82% would disapprove of the use of high-powered microphones to listen in on conversations in the street.

It seems that despite the public’s acceptance of certain surveillance techniques in an obviously public place, when it comes to more private activities, public opinion is clearly opposed.

CCTV chart

See the survey details and full results


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