CCTV: Caught on Camera
About the Show
Britain is being watched by millions of CCTV cameras. But who are the people who are watching us, and do the cameras make us any safer?
Series 1 Summary
Britain is watched by an estimated 5.9 million closed-circuit television cameras. CCTV can offer a unique insight into human nature at its best and - often - at its worst.
But who are the people who keep watch of this footage around the clock? And how has CCTV technology advanced to help public authorities protect citizens on the streets?
This series meets the surveillance operators who keep an eye on our public spaces and - in some cases - our private homes, and hears their frank insights into what they observe.
The residents of Southampton's 19 council-owned tower blocks are monitored by CCTV 24 hours a day.
This revealing look at day-to-day life in a high-rise explores being watched and whether residents feel that privacy has been sacrificed in return for the promise of increased security.
The programme takes a look at life on both sides of the lens, meeting the tenants who are under surveillance and the CCTV operators, whose job it now is to monitor their every movement in the communal areas of the blocks.
Who are these people who are increasingly watching us, and are the cameras actually making us any safer?
Prices of CCTV cameras are tumbling, and surveillance is no longer just a tool of the state. More and more people are installing personal CCTV cameras and recording what goes on in their neighbourhoods and their businesses, and even inside their own homes.
This episode takes a humorous, revealing and at times disconcerting look at how we risk becoming a nation obsessed with recording each other.
In millionaires' mansions, two-bed terraces, shops and businesses across Britain, the programme meets people who are sacrificing their own and other people's privacy for the promise of security, and asks whether cameras are fixing or feeding their fear of crime.
The programme also hears from those on the other end of CCTV surveillance, the ordinary people caught on camera.
Although there are now more than four million privately owned CCTV cameras in the UK, there's little regulation governing how they can be used, or what can be done with the footage they record.
Are the cameras creating more problems than they solve? And, with 11,000 fewer police on the streets than there were four years ago, is CCTV the only remaining option for protection and security?
In modern Britain it's hard to enter a city centre without being captured on CCTV. Behind these eyes in the sky sit an unseen army of camera operators, watching us, judging us and predicting our every move. But who are they? What do they think of us? And do they always get it right?
With unprecedented access to Southampton city centre's CCTV control suite, this episode reveals the hidden world of camera operators who watch human life in this 24-hour city.
As budget cuts continue to impact emergency services in the UK, can cameras fill the gap? Does round-the-clock CCTV supervision make our streets any safer? And should we still expect a right to privacy in a world of increasingly blanket surveillance?
CCTV: Caught on Camera synopsis
Britain is being watched by millions of CCTV cameras. But who are the people who are watching us, and do the cameras make us any safer?Episode Guide >