The startling figure comes in a Scotland Yard report which warns that a network that can capture individuals as many as 300 times a day is failing to improve public safety.
Officers found that the million cameras covering London have helped clear up barely 1,000 crimes.
Critics say the revelation should lead to a wholesale shake-up of the hugely costly CCTV system.
The senior Metropolitan Police officer behind the report warned of a crisis in public confidence over the use of surveillance cameras.
Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville said: '£500million has been spent by the Government on cameras. Despite this, in 2008 less than 1,000 crimes were solved using CCTV despite there being in excess of one million cameras in London.'
He said that of the 269 robberies reported in one month only eight were solved with the help of CCTV footage.
The study, part of a drive to make better use of the network, follows warnings from senior Scotland Yard officers that criminals are not deterred by cameras because they assume them not to be working.
Detectives are thought to be reluctant to scour hours of recorded footage 'because it's hard work'.
Although the UK has an estimated 4.2million cameras - giving it the world's biggest surveillance network - a Home Office report conceded earlier this year that camera schemes have had only a modest impact on crime. ..."
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