THE number of public CCTV cameras in the Braintree district has increased by 63 per cent since 2019, new research has revealed.

Freedom of Information requests to local authorities found almost seven in ten - 69 per cent - have increased their CCTV presence since 2019. 

Across the district, there are now 78 cameras controlled by the Braintree Council, compared to just 48 three years ago.

Across the UK, there are now 108,533 public cameras, representing an increase of 14 per cent - 12,960 new devices.

That doesn’t include privately owned equipment, such as cameras operated by businesses or members of the public, so the overall total is even greater. 

The Freedom of Information requests were made by IronmongeryDirect, the UK’s largest supplier of specialist ironmongery.

Managing director Dominick Sandford said: “CCTV is an integral part of modern-day society, and cameras have grown more commonplace in recent years as technology and connectivity have improved. 

“The increases revealed in our research might raise privacy concerns, but generally CCTV benefits the safety and security of both the public and businesses, and the upwards trend is unlikely to stop anytime soon.” 

Braintree Council communities boss Frankie Ricci said: “Everyone who lives, visits or works in the Braintree district has the right to feel safe wherever they go, day or night.

“This is why we’re supporting the investment of CCTV across the district, as it is a proven tool in helping to detect crimes and identifying perpetrators to support Essex Police, reducing anti-social behaviour and supporting our communities in feeling a sense of security.

“Over the last two years, we’ve invested in upgrading our system across the district, providing new cameras in Halstead town centre and upgraded cameras in Braintree town centre and at Causeway House.

“As part of our successful bid for over £297,000 government funding to improve public safety in Witham, amongst other community safety initiatives, we will also be investing in new CCTV for the town and working in partnership with the town council who will be responsible for the CCTV.

“We continue to work closely with partners as part of our Braintree District Community Safety Partnership to reduce crime and disorder, protecting those who are vulnerable and making the district safe and secure for residents, businesses, and visitors.”