How can I destroy Surveillance Cameras?


If you’ve ever pondered the possibility of destroying all those invasive surveillance cameras you see all over watching you around town, well, you are in luck. Below is a pretty decent start to a tutorial gathered from various sources:



1.1) Why destroy cctv cameras ?


Trust your instincts, but if you need intellectual justification then:


“The gaze of the cameras does not fall equally on all users of the street but on those who are stereotypical predefined as potentially deviant, or through appearance and demeanour, are singled out by operators as unrespectable. In this way youth, particularly those already socially and economically marginal, may be subject to even greater levels of authoritative intervention and official stigmatisation, and rather than contributing to social justice through the reduction of victimisation, CCTV will merely become a tool of injustice through the amplification of differential and discriminatory policing.”


“an instrument of social control and the production of discipline; the production of ‘anticipatory conformity’; the certainty of rapid deployment to observed deviance and; the compilation of individualised dossiers of the monitored population.”


“The unforgiving Eye: CCTV surveillance in public space” Dr Clive Norris and Gary Armstrong of the Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice at Hull University, UK


“What we have been able to show is that CCTV didn’t reduce crime – if anything it has increased – and it didn’t reduce fear of crime. If anything there was a slight increase in anxiety.” Prof Jason Ditton of Sheffield University






2.1) Dummy CCTV cameras


These should be destroyed and removed as they still induce paranoia and fear of punishment.


“Full bodied Dummy CCTV Camera including Lens and Mounting Bracket. Uses an actual Camera body so it looks like the real thing.”



2.2) Hidden CCTV cameras.


They are also useful for back-up surveillance in installations where the primary CCTV equipment is of a more traditional nature, i.e. standard cameras. In this case Covert Cameras can operate as a back-up where primary cameras are disabled by an intruder. Used mostly for temporary installations to catch repetitve criminal activity.


Discouraged by UK home office.



2.3) Wall mounted CCTV cameras.


Normally mounted just out of reach of an individual, but accessible by two people working together.


Mostly protecting private property, but often also covering public space.



2.4) Roof mounted CCTV cameras.


Normally police traffic cameras, but sometimes private or large offices or institutions.



2.5) Street post mounted CCTV cameras.


Normally local authority operated for surveillance of shopping areas or police traffic cameras.






3.1) Plastic bag.


Plastic bag filled with glue does the trick nicely.


Cheap and almost as effective as other short term techniques. Use Industrial grade bags which are thicker. Sometimes a camera going into repair will be ‘bagged’ over, so visually its ambiguous. To Bag a camera theres a high chance that you can reach it with ease. If this is the case dont hesitate to smash the glass, lens and any other components. Dont bag it afterwards, people need to see the units smashed.


Gives clear indication of inoperability.



3.2) Sticker and tape.


Placing of sticker or tape over lense.


Good training activity.


Gives clear indication of inoperability.



3.3) Paint gun.


Use a childs power water pistol with household paint.


Fast, fun and easy method – Highly recommended.


Easy to disable many cameras in a short period of time. a typical one hour action can easily take out 10 cameras.


Carry reserve paint in plastic containers.


Filter paint to remove lumps to avoid blocking gun.


Go for lense first and then cover the rest of the camera and surrounding area.


Clear indication of inoperability, plus draws further attention to the camera.


Camera is easily cleaned so only effective for short time only.


We used super soaker SC 400 – 2000 Edition camoflaged for urban night actions.


With a 50/50 mix of water based house paint (emulsion) and water we could hit targets easily at 4.5m above the ground.


Such a paint mixture totally obscures view through glass lense cover once applied.


Be prepared to get splattered: use disposable clothing.


No climbing required.



3.4) Laser pointer.


Fairly powerful laser pointers can be purchase for low cost (20.00GBP)


Laser pointers of <5mWatt or more can temporarily blind and may even permantently damage cctv cameras.


For garaunteed destruction a more powerful laser would be required.


But hazard of damaging eyes from misdirected pointing or reflection from the camera lense cover.


Also, very difficult to keep laser beam precisely still from any reasonable distance.


Can be attached to binoculars for better aiming.


No indication of in operability of camera.


Would not recomend this method.



3.5) Cable cutting.


Cables can be cut with either a sharp hand axe or garden pruning tools.


Make sure tools are electrically insulated to prevent shock from camera power supply.


Casual glance at dangling cables will reveal that camera is inoperable.


Requires complete costly rewiring.


Satisfying sparks emitted when cables cut.



3.6) Block drop.


Climb to the roof of the building on which the camera is mounted with some heavy weights eg concrete blocks and drop them on the cameras below.


Get correct drop position by dropping small stones first.


Camera will be totally destroyed in a shower of sparks.


Scaling tall buidlings with concrete blocks requires a certain level of fitness.


Pay careful attention to safety of others below.


This is a seriously hardcore method.





Training is essential for not only fitness, but also for developing techniques and more importantly preparing for unpredictable events.



4.1) Working together.


Get to know your partner very well.


You will need to know your partners limits and abilities.


You will need to know how much you can trust each other.



4.2) Fittness.


You can never be too fit.


Vary your exercises, but best training is actually doing.


Play on the terrain you will operate on.


Start on something easy like stickering.



4.3) Learning territory.


Know every part of the area you will operate in.


Explore by day and night.


Climb every tree, building.


Explore every alley, bush and tunnel.


Climb every wall and railing and fence.


Don’t use paths or streets (only cross them at right angles).


If you have a police helicopter in your area then train aerial counter surveillance ie finding exisitng cover, flares, smoke bombs.






1) Scout out the locations of cameras in your town or city region and make a map. Once the map is made, examine camera locations to determine intersections and roads to focus on. You may want to free up certain routes of travel from cameras or you may just want to get them out of your neighborhood. You may even try to eliminate them from your city entirely.



2) Take note of which poles have cameras mounted on them (some poles may have multiple cameras mounted). Observe which direction the cameras are pointing and look around the area to see if there is a way to approach the base of the traffic poles while minimizing exposure to the cameras. Near the ground on the traffic pole is a base plate. The base plate is about one foot off of the ground and is either metal or plastic with the approximate dimensions of 4-inches by 5-inches. The base plate is where you can access the cameras cables. The base plate is typically held in place with a single screw that requires a six-sided hex wrench to unscrew (turn counter-clockwise to unscrew). Some base plates occasionally require a flat-head screw driver or other tool to remove. Also, observe what the cables look like that connect to the camera at the top of the pole. You will need to find these cables when you open the base plate. They are typically two separate black round wires or a single black wire (with the two wires integrated). When you open the base plate there will be a jumble of wires of different colors (red, white, green, etc.). The colorful wires are used for traffic lights and are easy to decipher from the black cables. You will cut the black wires.



3) Dress to conceal your features and to prevent the transfer of finger prints. Cold weather is a good time to do this type of action, as you can wear scarves, hats, and gloves without appearing conspicuous. Halloween might be another good time to go out. You want your face to be obscured to hide your identity should you be observed or archived on camera. Wear gloves when handling tools, the base plate or wires.



4) Clean your tools. You will need a wire cutter and a hex wrench set – find one that is not metric and has wrenches of different sizes as there is some variation in screw sizes used on the base plates. Occasionally, the base plate will require a flathead screwdriver. (In this town you will also need tin snips to cut through a metal band that the city has placed over the base plate after the first incident of camera sabotage occurred). Try to find wire cutters that have insulated handles certified for electrical work to reduce the chance of shock. Tools should be cleaned thoroughly of finger prints if you have touched them before, use mineral spirits to wipe them down. You may want to dispose of your wire cutters after use or file them down and store them in a safe place. These tools are fairly affordable or stealable. Try to acquire them long before the action from an area away from where the action will occur. Pay in cash if purchased.



5) Deployment considerations.


Aside from operating solo, there’s a couple other formats to consider.


Street Demonstrations – A group of people who have experience with this method of sabotage could take advantage of street demonstrations to cut the wires of intersection cameras and then blend back into the crowd.


Small Group – This can be done with a group of trusted friends who coordinate their activities and select intersections to disable. You will want to consider whether to pair up, work alone, mob an intersection, or try some other combination. Maybe a small group could stand around and conceal the person gaining access to the camera wires.



6) Other Methods – Traffic cameras that are used for ticketing by taking a photo of your license plate when running a red light are often lower to the ground. These can often be spray-painted over as they are reachable from the ground. The cables on these cameras are typically protected by metallic flexible tubing requiring more than wire cutters to cut through.





When the wires are cut there is typically one black wire that sparks and one that doesn’t. The one that sparks is the power source. When the wires are cut, the positive and negative wires sometimes touch, this causes arcing of the electricity, which causes the spark. It is hoped that this occasionally causes a power surge and destroys the camera unit. Cutting this wire will sometimes cause pitting on the wire cutters. Of the thirty cameras cut only once was shock felt, only once was a loud “bzzzzt” sound heard along with a big spark, and occasionally all of the intersection lights would go out for some unexplained reason. These cameras don’t require much voltage, so accidental shock should not lead to any injury to yourself. Wearing insulated gloves or shoes will add more layers of protection against shock if you want to be extra safe. DON’T DO THIS TYPE OF ACTIVITY IN THE RAIN! The wire that doesn’t spark is used to transfer the images via fiber optic or coaxial cable. As far as I know the fiber optic cable cannot be spliced back together requiring the entire cable to be completely replaced.


The cameras you destroy will likely be repaired. But a war of attrition may make a camera surveillance network too costly for your city to maintain on its limited budget.



See how these anarchists destroy CCTV cameras: