Liverpool Daily Post 
Wednesday, Sept 24, 2008
ALMOST 1,000 local authority CCTV cameras provide surveillance on Merseyside as people go about their everyday lives, the Daily Post has found.
Additional CCTV cameras are located on Merseytravel trains and buses, more still monitor customers outside bars, while thousands more fill workplaces across the region.
A survey, as part of the Daily Post’s personal data special investigation, found there are 318 cameras owned and run by Liverpool Council, 110 by Wirral, 250 by Knowsley, 96 by Sefton, 80 by St Helens, and more than 100 by Chester.
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The data at the moment is stored for 31 days, by councils such as Knowsley.
In a sign of the growing use of CCTV, a national network of roadside cameras is planned that will capture around 50m licence plates a day.
It is understood the details captured by these cameras will be stored for five years at a new data centre in Hendon, north London. Police will be able to use the information for anything from investigating terrorism to low-level crime.
Civil liberties groups have warned that building a national database could significantly increase intrusion into individuals’ private lives.
The Home Office said the network of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) enabled cameras will be up and running in all authorities, including Merseyside, by early in the New Year.
But none of the Merseyside councils has yet adopted this technology. Merseyside Police already has the right to remotely control council cameras on request.