Council chiefs have defended their use of CCTV after a new report revealed East Renfrewshire has witnessed one of the highest percentage rises in public cameras being installed anywhere in Scotland since 2019.

The region was ranked fourth out of all 32 council areas in the country, with an increase from 275 cameras to 306 over the past three years.

This is a rise of 11% compared to the 2019 figure.

Renfrewshire (92%) took top spot, followed by Edinburgh (20%) and Falkirk (19%).

However, the Scottish region that has seen the biggest rise in the number of public CCTV cameras installed since 2019 is Edinburgh, at 338.

The city also has the largest number of them (2,027), followed by Fife (1,625) and Aberdeen (1,387).

Across the UK, the number of public CCTV cameras has now risen to more than 100,000, with some local authorities more than quadrupling their surveillance over the last three years.

The figures were published following a freedom of information (FOI) request submitted to local authorities by building materials company IronmongeryDirect.

Dominick Sandford, managing director at IronmongeryDirect, said: “CCTV is an integral part of modern-day society and cameras have grown more commonplace in recent years as technology and connectivity have improved.

“The increases revealed in our research might raise privacy concerns but, generally, CCTV benefits the safety and security of both the public and businesses and the upwards trend is unlikely to stop anytime soon.”

A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council said: “We’re committed to building safe and strong communities across East Renfrewshire and CCTV plays its part in this.

“We’ve recently undertaken a significant modernisation programme for CCTV to upgrade and improve our current provision and this helps us keep our residents and facilities safe.”