CCTVs put in Birmingham Muslim areas
Two hundred surveillance cameras were put up “by mistake” in largely Muslim areas of Birmingham, West Midlands Police Authority have admitted. The cameras, some of which were hidden, were paid for with £3 million of government money earmarked for tackling terrorism, according to state-funded BBC.
The police had to apologize after angry Muslim residents said they had not been informed.
The scheme, called Project Champion, was made up of the city council, police and agencies in the Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook districts. It involved cameras being put up by the Safer Birmingham Project (SBP).
Last month, West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims apologized after the report by Thames Valley Police said the force showed “little evidence of thought being given to compliance with the legal or regulatory framework” before the cameras were put up, according to the BBC.
In a statement, Derek Webley, chairman of the West Midlands Police Authority, said, “We acknowledge that we did not get things right and want to take a positive approach to addressing what the report has found.”
He also said that it is wise for the authority to work with the community in order to consider this matter as an important issue in order to rebuild the trust and confidence of those in the area.
“Without this we know that we cannot deliver the policing that the public want to keep them safe from harm.”
Civil liberties groups have warned authorities that they would take legal action if all the cameras are not removed in two weeks.