Hidden cameras in parts of Birmingham ‘will be removed’

Hidden cameras in areas of Birmingham with large Muslim populations will be removed and any counter terrorism involvement stopped, police say.

A total of 218 cameras – 72 hidden – were put up in the Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook districts and paid for from a Home Office counter-terrorism fund. Residents said they were not consulted about it. Sharon Rowe, Assistant Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, apologised and said “mistakes had been made”.

The CCTV and number plate recognition cameras have not been switched on and officials involved promised full public consultation last month.

About 300 people attended a public meeting at the Bordesley Centre in the Sparkbrook area of the city on Sunday to discuss the issue. Senior police, council officers, politicians and civil liberty campaigners addressed the audience as well as campaigners fighting to get the cameras removed.

BBC News, 5 July 2010

See also “Covert spycam u-turn”, The Stirrer, 4 July 2010

And Birmingham Mail, 5 July 2010

The video above is of Salma Yaqoob’s speech at yesterday’s rally (via Socialist Unity). Other speeches can be viewed here.