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Spy Cameras are on the Rise

Number of Councils who use CCTV to catch motorist’s committing traffic offences has risen by 76% since 2012

Posted on 19 Nov 2015


  • Since 2012, motorists have paid more than £182million in fines for driving infringements that have been caught on CCTV by local councils
  • Glasgow City Council has made the most revenue so far this year (2015) using CCTV cameras to catch drivers flouting the law - £4,000,468
  • There are currently 768 active CCTV cameras across the UK being used by local authorities to monitor traffic offences
  • More than half (53%) of motorists aren’t aware that some authorities are using their CCTV cameras to catch people committing motoring offences

CCTV is everywhere and has become a seemingly ever-present part of everyday life.  And today, new FOI data obtained by Confused.com can reveal that many councils are using these big brother cameras to their advantage to catch motorists committing traffic offences. In fact, since 2012 the number of councils using CCTV to monitor motoring offences has risen by 76%.

Findings from the leading price comparison site reveal that, in 2012, 25 councils issued fines to drivers breaking traffic laws compared to 44 councils who did so this year (2015). Currently, there are 768 active CCTV cameras being used by the local authorities to monitor traffic offences, and this number has risen year on year. However, more than half (53%) of motorists didn’t know that some authorities are using their CCTV cameras to catch people committing motoring offences.

Despite this ignorance, motorists in the last three years have been hit hard with fines of £182,462,118 for driving infringements. These include driving in bus lanes, driving through no entry areas, stopping in yellow box junctions, going the wrong way in a one way street and committing illegal U-turns, all of which have been recorded by CCTV cameras. 

So far in 2015 alone, motorists have been fined a staggering £36,802,955, and issued 977,969 PCN’s - and there’s still nearly six weeks of the year left to go. 

And it appears that drivers in Glasgow are bearing the brunt of these fines, as the FOI data reveals that Glasgow City Council made £4,000,468 in revenue in 2015, and issued more PCN’s than any other council - 131,238.

The top five highest revenue-raising councils in 2015

Council 
Revenue earned from traffic offences 
PCN's issued for traffic offences
Glasgow City Council
£4,000,468
131,238
Ealing Council
£3,004,278
57,167
London Borough of Lambeth
£2,967,755
62,891
Islington Council
£2,216,007
46,023
London Borough of Waltham Forest
£1,950,969
39,800

These ever prevalent fines are the latest clampdown by councils on drivers breaking the rules. And motorists who drive in Inner London should be even more wary, as Wandsworth Council has 122 CCTV cameras in place to catch today’s law-breaking motorists – the council with the most CCTV cameras in use to monitor traffic offences anywhere in the UK. London Borough of Hounslow comes in second, using 63 CCTV cameras to catch drivers who flout the law.

The FOI data reveals more and more councils are using CCTV to tackle the problem of motorists breaking driving laws. However, despite nearly half (45%) of motorists admitting to committing a motoring offence, more than one in eight (13%) offenders admit they haven’t been caught. 


The most common motoring offences committed by today’s motorists include:

1.) Driving over the speed limit – 62%
2.) Parking on double yellow lines – 21%
3.) Stopped in a yellow grid/ box  - 19%
4.) Made an illegal U-turn – 16%
5.) Driving in a bus lane – 14%

Despite the FOI data showing a growing trend for traffic contraventions being detected by Council CCTV cameras, only 4% of motorists have actually been caught and fined for driving in a bus lane. And an even smaller number of drivers (just 2%) have been caught and fined for stopping in a yellow grid/ box. 

Yet worryingly, nearly a third (29%) would consider committing an offence and driving in a bus lane, and one in eight (12%) would consider stopping in a yellow grid/ box. Therefore it raises the question: do we need more CCTV cameras to enforce the law?

Many motorists would disagree as more than two fifths (41%) believe that using CCTV cameras to catch motoring offenders is just another way to generate more revenue for the authorities. And nearly a quarter (24%) think that it’s outright wrong CCTV cameras are being used to catch motorists committing offences.

Matt Lloyd Head of Motor Insurance at Confused.com comments: 

"As the findings show, more and more councils are using CCTV cameras to catch drivers breaking traffic laws. In 2015 motorists paid more than £36million to some local councils, which is the equivalent to nearly a million fines being issued for traffic offences. This is a staggering amount of money, but it’s also worrying to see the amount of traffic misdemeanours that motorists have so far committed in 2015. 

"In fact, it’s quite concerning that many motorists would still consider committing an offense, such as stopping in a yellow box/ grid or driving in a bus lane, without thinking of the consequences.

"CCTV has always been a bone of contention for many people, as people feel their privacy has been invaded. However, the main reason why councils are using these cameras is to stop motorists breaking the law. By making drivers abide by the rules of the road, our roads should become a more stress free and safer place to drive on."




-Ends- 

Notes to Editors

Unless otherwise stated, all figures taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll research on behalf of Confused.com. This was an online poll of 2,000 UK drivers (nationally representative sample). The research was conducted between 15th October – 19th October 2015.

Confused.com issued Freedom of Information requests to all UK councils (Borough, City, District and County). The FOI request asked five questions relating to the use of CCTV cameras:

 1.       How many CCTV cameras are owned by your council to catch drivers breaking traffic laws, and how many are currently in use?
2.       Please specify where these cameras are placed and their intended use on-site? (E.g. to catch drivers making U-turns / illegal right turns / using a bus lane / yellow-box junction offenses)
3.       How many fines have been issued and what revenue has your council gained over the past four years as a result of these cameras? Please provide a breakdown for 2012, 2013, 2014, and so far in 2015
4.       How many people are employed in departments monitoring and processing CCTV driving offences?
5.       Please specify where the fines monies are allocated 

We received a response from 233 UK councils of which 44 provided data relating to the above FOI request.


1. There were 25 councils issuing fines using CCTV cameras in 2012. Now in 2015 there are 44 councils issuing fine using CCTV:

44-25 = 19
19/25 × 100% = 76% increase


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Confused.com was the UK's first price comparison site for car insurance. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, holiday insurance, pet insurance, small van insurance, motorcycle insurance, breakdown cover and gas and electricity, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.

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