A report commissioned by the Government into the use of security and other CCTV cameras in the capital has discovered that there are now more cameras in London than there are people.
With the average camera costing £2000 to deploy this means that these cameras are worth approximately £14bn. The camera network itself now has a greater financial value than any of the things it was being used to secure or monitor, and the report suggests that priorities must change to reflect this.
From next week, work will be carried out to adjust the angle of each camera so it points at other cameras, thus protecting them from theft or malicious damage. The plan is for every camera in London to be watched by at least one other camera.
Operation CamSafe, as the project is known, will ensure that London's camera network is kept secure. In outlying areas where the density of cameras is not quite great enough, it may be necessary to install extra cameras to watch over the existing ones, but this is seen as a small price to pay in the fight against camera crime.
The report goes on to raise concerns about the massive task of monitoring all the camera feeds. There are now so many monitoring stations that manual observation is no longer feasible, and the use of video cameras is being considered.