Comparitech researchers collated a number of data resources and reports, including government reports, police websites, and news articles, to get some idea of the number of CCTV cameras in use in 150 major cities across the globe, focusing primarily on public CCTV-cameras used by government entities such as law enforcement.

Key findings:

  • 18 out of the top 20 most surveilled cities are in China.
  • London and Hyderabad were the only cities outside of China to make the top 20, with London taking third place and Hyderabad sixteenth.
  • By 2021, over one billion surveillance cameras will be installed worldwide, according to IHS Markit's latest report.
  • Globally, there are already 770 million cameras in use with 54% of these being in China.
  • Little correlation between the number of public CCTV cameras and crime or safety was found.
  • Moscow and Saint Petersburg are also included in the top 50 most-surveilled cities. Moscow ranked 29th   — just behind Baghdad, but far behind London at 3rd and Beijing at 5th. St. Petersburg placed 37th behind many Chinese cities, Singapore, Delhi, and Sydney, Australia. Russian capital has 15.4 surveillance cameras per thousand population, while Saint Petersburg has 10.

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