CCTV in Bristol


The 24-hour CCTV helpline is 0117 922 2050.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is an important tool in reducing crime - by deterring criminals, or ensuring they are caught on camera once they have committed an offence. There are currently 658 CCTV cameras in open spaces around Bristol.

Safer Bristol Partnership has been innovative in using CCTV, and use various types of technology, such as mobile CCTV, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), and a dedicated control room to monitor activity throughout the city.

In order to manage CCTV effectively, a Corporate CCTV Group was set up in 2006 to make the key decisions about where to place CCTV, how much to spend, and how to maintain it.

The CCTV strategy for Bristol 2014 (pdf, 238k) (opens new window) .

CCTV may not be the best option for every area, and it is important to carry out a feasibility study before a CCTV project is introduced to an area. Because of this, the Corporate CCTV Group is made up of representatives from different areas of the council including:

  • Safer Bristol
  • Neighbourhood and Housing Services
  • Transport
  • Parking
  • Lighting

We also consult the police and experts in CCTV security to make sure we get the best value systems for Bristol.

Remember, we can only provide information from our cameras to the police, not to the public. Always report any incidents to the police, who and they will contact the council if they need to.


CCTV is used where necessary in Bristol to help reduce BCS Crime by 20%. BCS Crime is the basket of 10 priority crimes on which Safer Bristol Partnership is measured.

The Corporate CCTV Group has to make sure that:

  • All procurement issues are effectively managed.
  • All projects get the best value possible for Bristol.
  • All new projects follow Home Office guidelines and up-to-date standards.
  • Ideas and strategies for developing CCTV in Bristol are regularly explored.

Success stories

March 2007 saw the official launch of the Bedminster CCTV scheme. Working in partnership with the Southville Local Action Group and the police, Safer Bristol Partnership has placed 10 high specification cameras in Bedminster that will watch over East Street and three of the area's car parks.

Safer Bristol Partnership has contributed £210,000 to the five-year scheme, but many local retailers are also contributing to the running costs.

On 5 September 2007, staff of the Emergency Control Centre were asked to assist the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) at very short notice in carrying out surveillance on criminals who had travelled to Bristol that day from Wales and the Midlands to carry out a drugs transaction.

The operation ended with the arrest of six persons and the recovery of £120,000 in cash and 100kgs of cannabis resin.

The commander of SOCA has written a letter of appreciation praising the professionalism of the team in Emergency Control and commenting that the assistance provided was invaluable and the CCTV evidence obtained will no doubt prove pivotal to the trial.