Fears over the 'creep' of CCTV coverage in Hammersmith and Fulham have been raised this week after the Town Hall substantially boosted its use of surveillance cameras.
The council has linked up to 25 Transport for London (TfL) cameras in previous CCTV 'blind spots' across the borough raising the number of cameras which can be accessed by Town Hall operatives to nearly 200.
Critics of the TfL tie-in say it is further evidence of a culture of snooping which is spreading across London, as Police and Town Halls are given unchecked surveillance powers with limited proven value.
An internal Metropolitan Police report released over the summer revealed that just one crime is solved by every 1,000 cameras in the capital. There are around 10,000 cameras in the capital.
Councils such as H&F want access to more claiming CCTV is a key weapon in the battle against anti-social behaviour and street crime and acts as a re-assurance to the public.
Cllr Greg Smith, cabinet member for crime and street scene, said more than 50 arrests are being made each month on the back of camera evidence.
"CCTV makes the criminal minority think twice about committing crime as it dramatically increases their chances of being caught and punished," he added ."I am positive that this extra coverage will lead to more images being generated and ultimately more convictions."
Last month Borough Police Commander Chief Superintendent Kevin Hurley said CCTV was deterring drug dealers, robbers and vandals.
He added: "They know the cameras make it more risky for them to carry out their selfish behaviour."
Civil liberties campaigners refute the claim, saying latest evidence shows there is little or no difference in crime rates after the introduction of CCTV in an area.
"Hammersmith and Fulham is just using this as a vote winner," said Charles Farrier of the No CCTV group."People may feel safer, and there is some value in that, but the council should be honest with the public and not keep telling them crime will fall because more cameras are in place."
There are also concerns over the location of hidden cameras, after the council refused to respond to repeated Freedom of Information requests for the location of its CCTV network, claiming it would jeopardise its crime-busting activities.
"That's slipping into covert surveillance which is a serious problem. It's important the public understands what's going on because this creep of surveillance may well lead us - some would say already has - into a position where we are no longer living in a free society."
CCTV companies are known to be working on a break through in face recognition, which could be used in conjunction with identity cards or biometric passports to keep tabs on the public.
Hammersmith and Fulham ranks about midway in the table of London borough's for the number of CCTV cameras it operates.
Figures released to the London Assembly in 2007 show Hackney has 1484 and Merton 58 with little difference in the clear up rate of crimes, which remains between a spread of 20 and 25 per cent.