A new group which will oversee the future of a controversial CCTV scheme in Sparkbrook and Washwood Heath has had its first meeting.
The group, which is chaired by West Midland Police Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe, is made up of representatives from Birmingham City Council, Safer Birmingham Partnership, West Midlands Police Authority and independent members of the public who live locally.
ACC Rowe said: “The project board has been set up with the aim of securing the best possible outcomes for the community and identify how we can rebuild trust and confidence.
“We want to use these cameras to focus on local policing priorities.
“The workstreams which have been agreed will go a long way towards providing transparency in how we move this project forward to support the delivery of local policing in making communities safer.”
Over the next few weeks the force is expecting to meet with representatives from the office of the Surveillance Commissioners, the independent watchdog whose role is to monitor the use of covert surveillance, to review the use of cameras in the area. There had been anger that the cameras were put up without proper consultation using cash from an anti-terror fund.
Councillor Ayoub Khan, cabinet member for local services and community safety, said: “I am delighted that the project board has been established to oversee the developments of the CCTV and ANPR camera scheme, known locally as Project Champion.
“I hope that local communities will feel reassured by this action and see that we are treating their concerns seriously.
“We are taking steps forward towards a rollout of the community consultation exercise and I urge everyone living in the area to use this opportunity to have their say in determining the future of the scheme.”
The group also formally agreed terms of reference for the project, which include:
n Examining all existing CCTV in the area based on an up-to-date risk assessment of current levels of crime and anti-social behaviour and the threat posed by terrorism.
n Deciding on an independent consultation process which will take account of the views of local residents.
n Preparing information for local residents as part of a wider consultation exercise.
n Making recommendations around the possible removal or relocation of camera equipment in the area.