There are 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain watching our every move.
In London, there are more CCTV cameras than any other city in the world with one camera for every eight Londoners.
But as victims of crime have found to their cost, catching criminals on camera is dependent on the equipment being both monitored and maintained.
BBC Inside Out's investigation has found that all too often Big Brother either is not watching, had a broken camera, lost the footage or could not be bothered to go through the tapes.
Even within the Metropolitan Police itself, there are differences of opinion about the value of CCTV.
One senior Met officer, Mick Neville, described London's CCTV network as an "utter fiasco", claiming it takes 1,000 cameras to solve just one crime per year.Read More No Agenda News - Your daily source for the news that matters.