Is China hiding CCTV cameras in its street bollards?

Police say no, the installed devices are actually LED lights that flash in the dark

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 April, 2018, 3:53pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 April, 2018, 11:40am

Police in a city in southern China have denied online rumours that they secretly installed surveillance cameras in bollards by roads, a news website reported. 

Over the past few days, photos had been shared on Chinese social media, warning people to beware of hidden CCTV cameras in plastic yellow-and-red bollards installed near zebra crossings in Zhongshan in Guangdong province, Thepaper.cn reported. 

The “hidden cameras” were meant to catch motorists who did not stop for pedestrians crossing the road, according to the posts.

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“Please be careful of such devices seen near zebra crossings. They are put there to film drivers who do not stop for pedestrians. There will be a fine of 200 yuan (US$31.76) and three [traffic violation] points,” one post was quoted as saying.

But traffic police said the claims were merely rumour and the bollards had been placed on the road to help direct traffic. 

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Black devices installed in the bollards, which social media posts described as cameras, were LED lights that flashed in the dark, police added. 

China has one of the world’s largest street surveillance networks, with more than 170 million cameras. By 2020, the government plans to extend the number to 600 million.