Human Rights group Liberty has confirmed that it will be seeking a judicial review of plans to switch on a new generation of CCTV cameras in Muslim-dominated areas of Birmingham.
The organisation’s legal rights officer Corinna Ferguson travelled from London to attend this week’s meeting of West Midlands Police Authority. She believed that siting of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition Cameras went beyond what was reasonable. Legal action will follow, Fergsuon warned, if the scheme goes ahead following the forthcoming consultation period.
“Spying on a whole community in this way will only hamper efforts to tackle extremism and cause irreparable damage to community relations” she said.
“ The innocent residents of the targeted neighbourhoods are entitled to go about their business without feeling under constant surveillance. ”
Ferguson argues that the issue which needs to be addressed isn’t simply one of poor consultation – which appears to be the view of the police and the Safer Birmingham Partnership – but rather the intrusive nature of the cameras themselves.
“It was clear from Thursday’s meeting that the police have not yet taken on board the legitimate grievances of the local population.
“If the consultation is genuine and thorough, the Safer Birmingham Partnership will find that residents are not just upset that they were not consulted earlier; they are understandably outraged at the disproportionate and discriminatory impact of this ill-judged project.”
See: soying CCTV and local wordens by Zio-Freemason Dick Atkinson of Balsall Heath ‘Forum’.