The Department for Work and Pensions will remove cameras made by the controversial Chinese CCTV giant Hikvision as Whitehall concerns grow about the company.
The DWP said it “will not be using any security camera equipment manufactured in China” as part of an overhaul of its security systems.
Hikvision, which has more than a million cameras across Britain’s schools, hospitals and police departments, is under increasing scrutiny in the UK over claims that it has aided in the Chinese government’s suppression of its Uyghur minority.
New purchases of the Hikvision equipment have already been banned by the Department for Health and a Hikvision camera recorded Matt Hancock embracing an aide last summer, costing the former health secretary his job.
MPs have called for a ban on government procurement of cameras made by the company. Hikvision is partially owned by the Chinese government and is blacklisted in the US.
In a letter to campaigners at Big Brother Watch, the DWP said: “During the next three years, the department is undertaking a capital investment programme to update and upgrade its physical security systems. The Department will not be using any security camera equipment manufactured in China as part of this programme.”
The department has 194 cameras installed at 51 locations, it said in a Freedom of Information request last year.
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Copyright: James Titcomb