Tuesday, 19 October 2010

West Midlands Police face court over spy cameras

Project Champion, the network of spy cameras encircling Muslim communities in Birmingham, has severely undermined confidence in the police. I have consistently argued that to rebuild trust these spy cameras must be removed.

Despite the devastating criticisms of the police in the report they commissioned into this project, the suspicion remains that they have not given up on Project Champion. The cameras are covered up, but are still standing.

Now the human rights organisation, Liberty, is taking the police to court. As their legal officer, Corinna Ferguson says, “It is baffling that West Midlands Police are still trying to salvage this unlawful discriminatory scheme.”

Liberty has told the police that unless they make a commitment within the next 14 days to dismantle the cameras they will be taking a case to the High Court.

I do hope that the police respond to this positively. This issue is not going to go away. The longer they delay, the harder it will become to rebuild trust.

If there is one lesson the West Midlands Police need to learn it is that when you are in a hole you should stop digging.