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British police forces are being tracked by Chinese cameras, drones and surveillance equipment, a watchdog has warned.
Biometrics and surveillance camera commissioner Fraser Sampson said the findings of a survey carried out by his office also suggested bodies using the equipment were “generally aware that there are security and ethical concerns about the companies supplying their kit”.
The findings come amid growing concerns about the threat of Chinese spy balloons.
READ MORE: World leaders urged to stop shooting down UFOs until we know where they're from
Meanwhile, security fears about police using Chinese-made drones have also been raised.
According to the watchdog, several of the respondents said their camera systems use equipment which there had been security or ethical concerns about – including companies Dahua, Hikvision, Honeywell, Huawei and Nuuo.
Mr Sampson said: “It is abundantly clear from this detailed analysis of the survey results that the police estate in the UK is shot through with Chinese surveillance cameras.
"It is also clear that the forces deploying this equipment are generally aware that there are security and ethical concerns about the companies that supply their kit.
“There has been a lot in the news in recent days about how concerned we should be about Chinese spy balloons 60,000 feet up in the sky."
He added: "I do not understand why we are not at least as concerned about the Chinese cameras six feet about our head in the street and elsewhere…
“Myself and others have been saying for some time that we should, both for security and ethical reasons, really be asking ourselves whether it is ever appropriate for public bodies to use equipment made by companies with such serious questions hanging over them.”
A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman said: “Following government guidance where governmental departments have been instructed to cease the deployment of such equipment around sensitive sites, UK Policing will conduct necessary reviews to ensure national security standards are met.”
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