SWINDON is the third most-watched place in the UK outside London with 606 CCTV cameras around the town, the Adver can reveal.

With a borough population of 220,000, that means there's a camera for every 360 people.

The figure for local-authority-run cameras was uncovered by Big Brother Watch and the Office for National Statistics and excludes London.

As well as the headline figures, it revealed that Swindon has many more council-operated cameras the larger towns and cities.

Birmingham has a population of 1.1m but only 422 cameras.

But Swindon residents were largely favour of the cameras.

Sam Weeks, 27, of Railway Village said: “I'm not against the sheer number of cameras but what I do wonder is where they are all placed because you would imagine that the town centre is where the highest concentration is and there still seems to be blind spots.'

Mandy Childs, 49, of Old Walcott said: “Having that number of cameras watching the general public is a very good thing, as far as I am concerned.

'If you are doing no wrong and have nothing to hide then why not.

"It makes me feel like we are in a safer environment.”

Sam Mawson, 25, of Churchward Avenue said: “It’s shocking that we have more cameras in Swindon than most big cities considering our population is a lot less in comparison, but I welcome this. Hopefully it will deter criminal activity.”

Swindon Borough Council spokesman Kevin Burchall said: “These figures paint a misleading picture as many of the cameras included in this total are used around and inside many of the council’s buildings and are not street-facing.

“We do not use CCTV to spy on people. They are ultimately used to help the police catch criminals and bring them to justice.

"They are invaluable in helping to protect the public in the event of a major incident.

“The cameras utilise the latest mobile technology to transmit high-definition images to the control room and are an essential tool in deterring crime and anti-social behaviour, including fly-tipping, as well as supporting the police to address more serious criminal activities.”

The latest figures show that in Wiltshire in February there were 4,078 offences, with 888 of them happening in Swindon.

The CCTV camera numbers were compiled by RS Components.

Its vice-president Vishal Chhatralia said: “We found ourselves interested in finding out exactly how many CCTV cameras are being operated by local authorities across the UK.

"English towns including Swindon have significantly more cameras than the country’s biggest, and most populated cities such as Birmingham, Nottingham and Sheffield.

"We wanted to make the public aware of how much they are being watched on a daily basis by CCTV across the UK."