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CCTV: more supporters

03 January 2014

SHUTTERSTOCK

CHRISTIANS appear to be more willing to accept state-sanctioned surveillance than other people in society, a study by Christian Research suggests.

The research body surveyed 1134 members of its online panel of practising Christians, and found that 82 per cent agreed that "the Government is justified in sanctioning mass surveillance in order to prevent acts of terrorism."

In October, an opinion poll published by YouGov showed that just 42 per cent thought the Security Services' surveillance powers were "about right". In that survey, 19 per cent of British adults said that the security services had too many powers, and 22 per cent said that they did not have enough.

The issue has come to the fore through leaks by the former American security service contractor Edward Snowden, who is now living in Russia; and Wikileaks, whose founder Julian Assange is currently living in self-imposed exile in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to prevent extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted on rape allegations.

In the Christian Research poll, 77 per cent felt that mass intelligence-gathering in the UK was increasing. Some 68 per cent said that the issue had been brought to people's attention by Mr Snowden's leaks; 61 per cent credited Wikileaks.

In June last year, the British Security Industry Authority estimated that the UK had up to 5.9 million CCTV cameras - one for every 11 people in the UK. Sixty-nine per cent of respondents to the Christian Research poll felt that the level of CCTV in operation in their area was about right.

In a YouGov poll six months ago 67 per cent of respondents said that CCTV did not pose a problem; and 81 per cent said that it helps police.

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