By Joe Wright
More CCTV cameras have their eyes on Canterbury than almost any other city in the UK, statistics have revealed.
The startling figures rank the city as the sixth most watched in Britain - higher than the likes of Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
The figures have been revealed by RS Components, which draws on information from anti-surveillance group Big Brother Watch, and the Office for National Statistics.
It reveals the district is home to 336 cameras - the equivalent of one for every 483 people.
The news is likely to ignite debate as to whether the public should be so comprehensively monitored.
But former policeman and Conservative councillor Ashley Clark is steadfast on his view.
“CCTV keeps citizens safe,” he said.
“It eliminates all doubt. Having dealt with a number of offences over the years, you get a variety of witnesses saying conflicting things but camera footage removes all of that doubt and the truth comes out.”
But there are many left uneasy about the state’s monitoring.
Young Labour support group member Charlie Mower, 19, says the increasing levels of CCTV are worrying.
He explained: “I’ve always thought too much CCTV promotes a neoconservative surveillance culture, which can lead to an unaccountable police state.
“That, in turn, creates an atmosphere of suspicion and fear as of a means of control.”
Canterbury ranks behind Bristol, Birmingham, Stoke, Chelmsford and Liverpool on the list - which excludes London - as the most monitored cities.