CCTV Development Remains Slow in Southeast Asian Metropolises

ASEAN, CCTV, safety, crime,

Singapore has the highest number of CCTV cameras per capita in Southeast Asia.

A study by the consulting firm Comparitech shows that CCTV surveillance is on the rise across the globe. Surprisingly or not Chinese cities are under the heaviest CCTV surveillance in the world, according to the analysis comparing 120 cities worldwide. Only Singapore in Southeast Asia has a high number of CCTV while camera surveillance remains marginal in other metropolises…

Like it or not, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are now ubiquitous in people’s lives, mostly in the name of safety. CCTV serves indeed many purposes, ranging from crime prevention to traffic monitoring to observing industrial operations. The price drops in purchasing cameras, better quality and new technologies such as instant face recognition for anyone passing in front of a camera motivated the multiplication of CCTV in city landscapes over the last decade.

Installing video cameras everywhere is then a trend. Comparitech researchers collated a number of data resources and reports, including government reports, police websites, and news articles, to get some idea of the number of public CCTV cameras in use in 120 major cities across the globe. Key findings from Comparitech analysis are the following:

  • Eight out of the top 10 most-surveilled cities are in China
  • London and Atlanta were the only cities outside of China to make the top 10
  • By 2022, China is projected to have one public CCTV camera for every two people

Interestingly, Southeast Asia is relatively poorly equipped except for Vietnam, Singapore and in some ways Thailand although they are no figures for countries such as Malaysia or the Philippines as a whole. As a country, Vietnam has the most CCTV per 1,000 inhabitants at a ratio of 27.21; Singapore follows with 15.25 CCTV cameras per 1,000 persons while Thailand is far behind with only 5.29 cameras for 1,000 people.

If looking at cities in Southeast Asia, Singapore comes on top followed by Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. The total number of cameras is three times higher in Singapore than in Bangkok and very negligible in other cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta or Manila, where there is less than one CCTV camera per 1,000 people. In the case of Manila, the ratio is even close to zero…

Surveillance is then a far outcry from Chinese towns. The top CCTV most-watched out cities is Chongqing with a ratio of 168.03 CCTV cameras/1,000 people; Shenzhen with 159.09 and Shanghai with 113.46. Guangzhou’s ratio reaches 52.75 cameras per 1,000 inhabitants while Beijing’s ratio reaches 39.93.

According to reports and analysis gathered by Comparitech, more CCTV surveillance will come. China is planning to increase the number of CCTV cameras by 1,145 per cent, translating a total of 2.29 billion cameras—just less than two cameras per person. All ASEAN metropolises are planning to increase the number of CCTV.

Over the next few years, Singapore plans to go to a total of 196,000 cameras, representing a ratio of 34.77 CCTV/1,000 people; Bangkok would go to 83,430 cameras or a ratio of 8.06 followed by Hanoi with 64,400 cameras, a ratio of 8; Jakarta with 66,000 cameras, a ratio of 6.2; Ho Chi Minh City with 54,150 cameras, a ratio of 6.02 and Kuala Lumpur to 41,000 cameras, a ratio of 5.27. Manila will also install 12,000 cameras but the ratio will remain small at 0.9 CCTV camera per 1,000 inhabitants.

However, Comparitech found little correlation between the number of public CCTV cameras and crime or safety. But it gives people a sense of safty…