High-Def CCTV Cameras - The Future?
Recent manufacturers figures show that by the end of 2012 the UK will have around 129,299 HD CCTV Cameras.
The HDCCTV Alliance has predicted that number would rise to over 3.7 million by 2016.
A shift from the use of analogue to digital equipment is also helping drive the quality of the images, the cameras capture.
Defenders of the technology note that it helps discourage crime and has helped law enforcement officers identify offenders.
An earlier report by the Integrated CCTV news site said that evidence gathered by surveillance cameras had helped secure some of the convictions that followed 2011's London riots.
Manufactures are now using a range of techniques to improve image quality. For example a leading manufacturers product records images using the HDR (high dynamic range) dual-exposure process to capture more detail in an images's shadows.
It allows owners to save up to 30 frames per second in 1080p quality video and uses an infrared filter to improve its performance at night.
The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, highlighted the technology's benefits.
'Whether its tracking down a thug who brutally mugged an old lady, a vandal who trashed a war memorial or searching for a missing child, CCTV plays a crucial role in tackling crime and making people safer,' said Mehboob Khan, chairman of the association's Safer and Stronger Communities Board.
Campaign group Big Brother Watch reported in February that the local councils had spent £515m over the previous four years on CCTV operations and controlled at least 51,600 standard and high definition cameras.
The UK is far from being the only country to utilise the technology.
A study by RNCOS suggests the global CCTV market will be worth a staggering $23.5bn (£14bn) a year by the end of 2014.
It said that Asia and the Middle East would soon account for about one quarter of that market, with a large growing demand for the products in India and China.
It added the adoption of Internet-connected cameras meant that more footage was being stored of-site for longer periods of time, and that gigapixel camera technology would mean even higher quality images in the future.