Paris will quadruple the number of closed-circuit police cameras in its streets by the end of next year, after President Nicolas Sarkozy’s promise to emulate London in an attempt to track crime and terrorism threats.
While the Paris metro and rail networks already operate around 9,500 CCTV devices, police have only 330 at their disposal to survey outside public areas. The new plan, dubbed “A Thousand Cameras for Paris”, will raise that number to more than 1,200 – with most installed in high-risk areas and outside railway and underground stations.
The figure is still small compared with London, where each citizen is caught on average several hundred times a day. Britain has about four million closed-circuit security cameras compared with France’s 340,000.
The CCTV drive follows Mr Sarkozy’s pledge last autumn to follow London’s surveillance lead. “I am very impressed by the efficiency of the British police thanks to this network of cameras,” the French president said. “In my mind, there is no contradiction between respecting individual freedoms and the installation of cameras to protect everyone’s security.”