Two Birmingham councillors have lodged official complaints with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, claiming they were deliberately misled over a hugely controversial project to tackle terrorism.
Sparkbrook Respect party councillors Mohammed Ishtiaq and Salma Yaqoob have written to the IPPC demanding action is taken against senior officers who they said told them the prime focus of a £3million project would be to prevent crime in the area and not to spy on Muslims.
Police and council leaders were last week forced to put bags over 216 CCTV and ANPR equipment, which were installed in Sparkbrook and Washwood Heath in April, after accepting they had failed to consult community leaders from the wards affected.
Coun Salma Yaqoob said: “The way they went about it was very misleading and makes us lose confidence and trust. This is the only way to bring to light what’s gone on.”
The minutes of a meeting which took place in April, 2009, between the senior police officers, members of the Safer Birmingham Partnership and a host of councillors, in which the role of the cameras were discussed, have been made public.
The minutes of the meeting show that the councillors held deep reservations about the cameras being used to target Muslims and the lack of public consultation, despite the project being presented to them as “a great opportunity for the area.”