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Is it right to use CCTV to target communities?

09:18 UK time, Friday, 6 August 2010

A disproportionately high concentration of CCTV cameras located in mainly Muslim areas of Birmingham has caused anger among some residents. Should the cameras be removed?

When the cameras first appeared - there had been no public consultation before - the police said they were for fighting normal crime, like anti-social behaviour and car crime.

But it turned out more than £3m from a special government anti-terror fund had paid for them. The system will not be dismantled and despite earlier assurances could yet be used for counter-terrorism purposes, West Midlands Police have told the BBC.

Should there be more police patrols rather than CCTV cameras? Does the use of cameras in this way disrupt community cohesion? Do CCTV cameras protect communities or are they eroding civil liberties?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    What exactly are they hoping to spot with these cameras?

    People driving in a suspiciously non-white manner?

    Walking whilst wearing a funny hat?

    The fact is that unless these cameras are equipped with x-ray vision there could one next door to a bomb making factory and the authorities would'nt be any the wiser.

    I agree with the residents of Sparkhill on this one. If you want to know if there's something going on in the community put real police on patrol, someone that a resident can actually aproach regrding their concerns.

    Not just a load of cameras that serve no purpose than to tell the residents that they are regarded as being 'different' from other communities.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    And the muslims get angry again.

    I believe they get angry for two reasons................

    Firstly because they fear that there religion will decline as christianity has declined. They fear that they will loose control of their children and wives, they blame our liberalism and freedoms, particularly for women for western decadance.

    Secondly they complain because they see that it works. The Anglican and Catholic leaders protest about an issue and are dismissed as being irrelevant and out-of-touch. A muslim cleric protests that some one should be violently attacked or even killed and the media are all over them.

    So the muslims complain and we give in, trying to be fair and objective, whilst muslim extreemists win the hearts and minds of their dissafected young.

    If their is a threat percieved to originate in a mainly muslim area, and the authorities want to install CCTV, they should do it and ignore the protests. If these CCTV were in a western only area for the same reason there would be no protests from anyone.

    As for CCTV eroding civil liberties, what is the alternative? Police on the beat are an anachronism, everyone thinks they are effective when they cannot cover the urban sprall that has developed in the last 50 years. So we need cameras and police in cars and helicopters, just to cover the area.

    As for the use of money from anti-terror initiatives, this is the fault of the muslims in not protesting about their OWN people who promote and support terrorism. If they want the cameras out, then show they are not needed by turning against the preachers of hate, until then they have no right to complain.

  • Comment number 4.

    As a post-script-

    Britain has had the highest number of CCTV cameras per capita in the world.

    Now who can tell me how many acts of terrorism in the UK have prevented by CCTV? I don't mean how many terrorists have been found to be on CCTV after the event.

    Specifically how many plots has it foiled?

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    I don't care if people are upset by having CCTV cameras up, they can come and put one outside my house for all I care. I don't feel it infringes on my human rights. It makes me feel a lot safer especially having a wife and daughter knowing that if they're out there is someone lookig out for them.
    I wish we had CCTVs up all over, instead at a time when the levels of recorded crime are at the lowest levels since records began, we have this stupid government getting rid of our Police and PCSOs getting rid of CCTVs and at the same time letting the criminals out that hardly makes you feel secure. They are putting money before the safety of the people they serve and that is not what you elect a government for, mind you no one elected this load of rubbish.

  • Comment number 7.

    Legitimacy of use, not deterrent.
    Use of CCTV should be utilised in areas where surveillance 24\7 is needed to improve public safety,
    as a mechanism in the stoppage of assault, robbery damage to property etc, where their is a tangible risk of re-offence.
    And the mechanism to act rapidly, and have the ability to intervene in any activity seen, so those resources must be in place for it to realise its effectiveness.
    All data must be accessible to any member of the public to view, given reasonable notice and free of charge.
    As an aside, should not all that, that is purchased by taxpayers belong to tax payers, car parks for example, where the parking charges are equated from, and to only cover the costs of maintenance ?

  • Comment number 8.

    This is a question about balance. Fighting terrorism vs freedom not to be spied on.

    Targetting a stereotype for searches at a high profile target is fine but to actively spy on people because the majority in the area are muslim is going too far.

  • Comment number 9.

    Should the cameras be removed?

    Yes, it is unfair to victimise whole swathes of the population on grounds of race or creed (beliefs).

    Should there be more police patrols rather than CCTV cameras?

    Yes, it would save the UK government money not to have to have a bobby attached to a PC behind the desk.

    Police would be fitter and leaner (less obesity) as they might get more exercise CHASING criminals, as their predeccessors in the job used to do!

    People and Police should get out more.

    Real people talking to real people leads to real information which leads to the correct identification of those that are innocent and those who are not!

    Does the use of cameras in this way disrupt community cohesion?

    YES of course it does! It raises suspicion that one sector of the nation is acting against the rest!

    Do CCTV cameras protect communities or are they eroding civil liberties?

    They can protect communities IF they are used to collect EVIDENCE.

    As has been seen by local councils misuse, they can be used to ABUSE people in society too!

    Finally, we hear in the news today, that research shows dementia casn be reduced by healthy diet, life style and cultural attitudes (having a better life style and making better life choices, learning education, activities etc).

    Perhaps both the communities (being accused) and the Police (doing the accusing) would benefit from 'better life style choices' and do what the Police used to do many years ago - GET INVOLVED IN COMMUNITIES and STOP HIDING BEHIND COMPUTER SCREENS and Television, letting imaginations and perceptions run riot.

  • Comment number 10.

    Middlesbrough is full of cameras. They're in the streets, shops, pubs, surgeries, everywhere. We've even got talking lamposts that yell at people walking by.

    The police and local authority didn't ask us if we wanted to live in this big brother state, we just got it. As the police hide themselves away or concentrate on motorists we are spied on more and more. This doesn't deter criminals or criminal behaviour but it certainly puts the rest of us in our place.

    So why are these Moslems complaining? Are they exempt from living in a police state? Is there something precious about their 'community' that makes them exempt from the attentions of our modern day gestapo?

    If they can stop these cameras then the rest of us should be left alone as well.

  • Comment number 11.

    CCTV only records crime, it doesn't prevent it.

  • Comment number 12.

    While there is excessive use of CCTV and not enough real policing, CCTV has pushed crime where I live to those streets not covered by CCTV.

    So if I were a Muslim in Birmingham I would be grateful for the CCTV coverage of my area.

  • Comment number 13.

    the more a government needs to spy on its population, the more the government is leading us down the wrong path.

    The amount of surveillence (apparently) 'needed' is directly proportional to innapropriate governmental/cultural legislation.

    the more surveillance we need, the more this way of life is not working.

    all it does is help spread fear in the population, the best way to control the masses ...

  • Comment number 14.

    Isn't it funny how 'spy satellites' of yesteryear could home in on an open book being read by someone sitting by a window - did anyone complain then? Nowadays, technological advances could probably identify the ink used!

    Anyway, my point is - diddums. Muslim communities seem to have acquired a knack in grumbling about anything that might be used to safeguard communities as a whole. More police on the beat would cause a similar apoplectic reaction. CCTV cameras do not bother me one bit, never did and neither do 'spy satellites'! If you find them so intrusive, go hide in the hills of, let's pick a place at random ... Afghanistan ... and let the rest of us get on with help towards safeguarding towns and cities that such technology affords us. Without such cameras, all our liberties are in danger of being eroded.

  • Comment number 15.

    Anti-terror funding for the cameras means nothing, it is common for departmental fund transfers - just look at the £33b in revenues received from Road Fund Licence, VED etc. only a small proportion is spent on the roads.

    Hailing from Birmingham myself I have a few Asian friends in this area, albeit Indian, and they tell me that these cameras are welcomed by most of the community on grounds of safety and security. It has nothing to do with terrorism.

    I mean, just thinking about it, what exactly are prospective terrorists going to do? Make bombs in the street?

    Also, again the media makes reference to Muslim 'Anger'. An agressive term too often used. I don't think they are angry, maybe feel victimised. They are not all angry, suicidal, bomb making, wife oppressors.

    It wouldn't suprise me if other contributors on HYS from Birmingham agree with me however when I say that Muslims in general make absolutley no effort whatsoever in these communities. They all want their own little world seperate to the so called nonsensical 'infidel'rubbish.


  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    To me, the issue is that whatever measures are deemed necessary should be taken to prevent crime, provided they are targetted in the correct areas. And, as I understand it, this area of the country has produced a disproportionate number of terrorists, so the answer must be that the cameras are a proportionate use of resources. If I am wrong about the area, I apologise, and the cameras should be removed. Simple, reasonable and proportionate.
    After all, we all agree with the policing of football crowds and city centres at a weekend - a disproportionate use of resources for the number of people involved, but, when the risks from that small minority are taken into account, the response is deemed reasonable and proportionate.
    Be careful though, those with an axe to grind will try to exploit this for their own ends - ie. those who shout loudest are probably those who have most to hide. Most of all, don't allow it to become a religious matter, that would fuel the extremists. Stick to our principles - those of protecting Society, from whoever wants to undermine it (from whatever quarter).

  • Comment number 18.

    The CCTV cameras should be everywhere now, catching small time criminals and terrorists.
    Why are the communities so against them?
    We are at war for gods sake with the criminal element and the terrorists.
    Of course MI5 and Police are going to target the known communities as these communities are the ones which are the criminal element or terrorist suspects.
    I don't know or have never heard of a Christian fighting for the taliban have you? We are going down the old EU road of PC & HR when an Anglo Saxon Grannie is searched to satisfy the ethnic minorities. Bullst-t !
    If the community doesn't like it move and integrate which is what they should be doing instead of creating ghettos, or better still emigrate.

  • Comment number 19.

    Each time that a utility wishes to erect a pole they have to obtain Planning Permission. This requires a public notice to be erected in the location and the plans available for public comment.

    Bearing in mind that all these cameras require telecom and utility services to work the question is how did these cameras get to be erected with no one noticing.

    Did the authorities follow the planning process and if so why wasn't it picked up by the local communities? Or was this yet another abuse of Blair/Brown's RIPA.

    The authorities were very quick to cover them up once caught out.

    My gut says they went up under RIPA and there should be an Ombusman's investigation.

  • Comment number 20.

    At one level I guess it is a lot cheaper than having a load of plain clothed police using mobile phones to record the action, and, at another, it is suggestive of an over-reliance on CCTV to prevent crime.

    My personal view is that CCTV should be banned except on private property. Footage from public CCTV cameras should be on local public display, in private or public accommodation, in libraries, local shopping malls or wherever. Anyone feeling their privacy is being abused may seek recompense via a complaints procedure. Public logs should be maintained of anyone specifically viewing CCTV footage. The location of CCTV cameras should be determined by an appropriately managed referenda of affected residents; if the majority accept the need then okay but if they do not then no cameras. Residents have the right to have the cameras removed on an appropriate vote in a further referendum.

    None of this will happen but, if it were a legal requirement for every camera, then CCTV would go away permanently.

  • Comment number 21.

    15. At 10:24am on 06 Aug 2010, Feel_Bad_Factor wrote:

    Hailing from Birmingham myself I have a few Asian friends in this area, albeit Indian, and they tell me that these cameras are welcomed by most of the community on grounds of safety and security. It has nothing to do with terrorism.

    It wouldn't suprise me if other contributors on HYS from Birmingham agree with me however when I say that Muslims in general make absolutley no effort whatsoever in these communities. They all want their own little world seperate to the so called nonsensical 'infidel'rubbish.

    --------

    Which bit of Birmingham do you live in?

    The Imaginary bit with a massive chip on its shoulder and a point to make, even if it means circulating untruths on an international internet forum.

    I've lived here all my life and the prevalent attitude in Birmingham is that we all get along remarkably well and have done for decades, regardless of colour or religon.

    Its one of the things that make us so proud of our city.

  • Comment number 22.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 23.

    I don't see a problem with these cameras. They are placed in an area where a massive and serious terrorist plot was uncovered just in time by MI5.

    If these people are just going about their lawful business, what are they so concenrned about? Cameras are everywhere, all over town and city centres, the only difference here is that these have numberplate recognition capability and are in a residential area. So what?
    I'm sure I'm filmed all the time when I'm out shopping in city centres, but I'm not going to get angry about it!

    If the youths carry out their threats to damage the cameras, then so be it. They will be duly arrested and no doubt fined.

    It always makes me laugh when muslims get all worked up about civil liberties, when they enjoy more freedom in this country than they could ever hope to in the countries of their ancestors.

  • Comment number 24.

    If they have nothing to hide then why complain? Is there perhaps a more sinister side to these complaints in that the cameras might catch them all carrying their bundles of cash, not declared to HMRC, for donation to the Pakistan flood "victims"?

  • Comment number 25.

    18. At 10:31am on 06 Aug 2010, joshua goldblum wrote:

    The CCTV cameras should be everywhere now, catching small time criminals and terrorists.
    Why are the communities so against them?
    We are at war for gods sake with the criminal element and the terrorists.
    Of course MI5 and Police are going to target the known communities as these communities are the ones which are the criminal element or terrorist suspects.
    I don't know or have never heard of a Christian fighting for the taliban have you? We are going down the old EU road of PC & HR when an Anglo Saxon Grannie is searched to satisfy the ethnic minorities. Bullst-t !
    If the community doesn't like it move and integrate which is what they should be doing instead of creating ghettos, or better still emigrate.

    ------------------------------

    There has always been a criminal element and many times there has been a terrorist element. That is no excuse for spying on people and attempting control of the population. The last gov did a lot of that and caused a lot of damage to public trust and funds. So far this gov has taken to a good start (in my opinion) and I can only hope they continue to do well.

    As for these cameras, I dont agree with spying on your own population but then protection of the public should be relative to the threat to the public

  • Comment number 26.

    Why is their no "Non-Asian British Public Anger at Asians Enhanced Safety Via Extra CCTVs"?

    We should have cameras everywhere, it works in Singapore. If you have nothing to hide then only those who have or intend to transgress need to worry.

    Shouldn't bother Muslims with the full veils on anyway.

  • Comment number 27.

    To answer the earlier point, these cameras are to gather information on known suspects, through number plate recognition so future terrorist events don't happen. C'mon any spooks watcher knows this!

    Seriously though these sorts of things have never bothered me as I'm neither involved in criminal acts or terrorism.

  • Comment number 28.

    Muslims need to get their own house in order. The cameras are there due to threats of terrorism from extremist muslims. When it comes to acts of terrorism who are we most at risk from? I'm sorry but the answer to that is extremist muslims, a minority within the muslim community, a community of mainly peaceful people trying to get on with their lives just like the rest of us. However, the one thing I have noticed is that the muslim communtiy as a whole does not seem to renounce these extremists or extremism. They just keep quiet which deepens the mistrust from the rest of the British people. If more muslims and the communities as a whole started to speak up and say "we are not apart of this" and "this is not what we or our religion is abour", then I think the British people would be more accepting.

  • Comment number 29.

    Yes.
    Cameras should be removed!
    There are countries where citizens are protected without any such use of cameras.
    Police Dept. should be more attentive and police patrols should be increased. By using CCTVs does the administration want to show that they are not capable of looking after?

  • Comment number 30.

    CCTV is here, so live with it.
    Maybe there is a disproportionate amount of CCTV coverage in some areas, probably because there is a disproportionate amount of crime in these areas.
    I do not think more police patrols would make much of a difference. A police foot or vehicle patrol could pass within yards of an incident and see nothing, yet CCTV would probably see all that happened. Unless we can find a way to have these police patrols hovering at the same height as most CCTV cameras, and seeing all that is going on, then we are probably better off as we are now.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    It is not right to use CCTV to target communities.

    However, I believe these cameras were installed to target the levels of crime in the area, not as a response to the residents' ethnicity.

    Why isn't there a similar outcry in predominantly christian areas where there is a plethora of cameras?

    As in the recent firebombing case where an innocent muslim husband and wife were murdered, it seems a significant proportion of serious crimes committed against muslims come from within their own communities - so-called 'honour' killings.

    Imagine a similar case occurring where these CCTV cameras have been removed. Will the residents bemoan the fact that there is no CCTV evidence, and no subsequent conviction?

    These cameras are not for surveillance of the muslim community - that's already being carried out less obviously by MI5, who have been successful in foiling a number of high-profile muslim terrorist plots, which would rather indicate that they are on the right track.

  • Comment number 33.

    Call me cynical, but why do I get the feeling that if a bunch of White Anglo Saxon Protestants were to complain about CCTV cameras the BBC would ignore the story? It is obvious that the BBC is still living in the NuLiebour era - cant go upsetting a minority group, now can we, and anyone who does must be a bigot!

    Such protests and indeed threats of lawlessness only increases the suspicions of most people that the muslim minority have something to hide!

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    Lets have CCTV all over on every street corner. I for one would feel much safer. It has been proved, especially in town centres, that the presence of these cameras and the "pitched" sirens reduce crime substantially.
    The problem is that everyone knows that the terrorists are all Islamic led now and I for one am very happy that at least one PM has the guts to state this.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    There can be no real deterrent against a determined band of like-minded people who are bent on achieving their ends by violent means so CCTV cameras targeted against a miniority can only exacerbate real or unfounded prejudices.

  • Comment number 38.

    Who cares if the Muslims feel they are being 'spied on'? If it helps, in any way, to prevent, or to evidence crime, then it's better than having nothing there at all.

    I agree that the Government should put more time and money into recruiting more Police Officers - however, CCTV is better than nothing.

    It doesn't infringe on Human Rights, as the CCTV would be on the public street, and not in their homes, or affecting their private life. If they are so worried, then maybe they should start behaving themselves? For if they are doing nothing wrong, then there is nothing to worry about, is there? :)

  • Comment number 39.

    Cameras will only record an event,by then the act has already been commited and its rather too late then the only way is to have police on the streets, not in cars and maybe practice a little bit of crime prevention in the first instance!

  • Comment number 40.

    i think members of the government should be forced to wear webcams 24hours a day,, i think that surveillance would be far safer for the country ,and cheaper too

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    I can't believe some people are saying Muslims should stop complaining!

    As a young, single, white male, I'd also loathe a disproportionately high amount of CCTV cameras watching my every move where I live.

    I'm not a criminal, I never have been and I don't live in a particularly nice area either - crime happens. CCTV doesn't prevent it and most of the time the culprits can't be identified anyway.

    It's also wrong that this was funded by and for anti-terrorism. How many would be terrorists build their explosives on the street? Do they not have better things to spend their millions on?

  • Comment number 43.

    4. At 09:55am on 06 Aug 2010, Nok wrote:
    As a post-script-

    Britain has had the highest number of CCTV cameras per capita in the world.

    Now who can tell me how many acts of terrorism in the UK have prevented by CCTV? I don't mean how many terrorists have been found to be on CCTV after the event.

    Specifically how many plots has it foiled?

    ------------------------------------

    How can you measure the number of times an event didn't happen?

    Also capturing terrorists after they have been involved in an terrorist act is stopping them causing any more.

    By your argument we shouldn't try and capture criminals after they have commited a crime as it doesn't prevent the crime.

  • Comment number 44.

    It's obviously rather obtuse not to recognise that Muslims, however law abiding and integrated into the community they may be, are sensitive to the idea that special measures paid for by anti-terror funds are being taken in their area. After all, several posters have made this link. However, it is also true that home terrorism is being planned or carried out in this country, in the main (it appears) by disaffected Muslims and it is only sensible to target measures to areas perceived as being of greater threat. We ALL have a responsibility, whatever our ethnicity, to help the very many Muslims (i.e. fellow citizens) in this country who are trying very hard to solve this problem. As a first step, we ought to recognise and appreciate that this is what in fact is happening, rather than foster a "them and us" attitude, which only makes things worse.

  • Comment number 45.

    CCTV as a whole needs to be regulated and reduced. CCTV cameras are fine when used as a security measure for private businesses but not when it's part of a network used by local governments to spy on the populace. It might be good for stopping crime but it gives the government way too much power. When governments have too much power they will always abuse that power and become corrupt.

    This is made worse by the amount of new laws passed and crimes "created" over the past decade, so now everyone a potential criminal. This has produced a climate of fear where drivers are worried they'll get pulled over when they see a police car, demonstrators worry they'll get stopped & searched, adults worry they'll get put on the sex offender's register if they talk to a lost child, people worry they'll be fined if their bin lid isn't fully shut, etc.

    When anyone can be made a criminal and the means to detect criminals is near-absolute (CCTV networks) then the government has pretty much unlimited power over the people. If the next Hitler comes along in 30 or 40 years time, it'll be a walk in the park.

    The thing is that CCTV only prevents petty crimes such as vandalism and robbery. Murders and terrorist attacks won't be stopped by CCTV because people driven to those extremes aren't concerned about getting caught. So is it really worth it when the prospect of a totalitarian regime is just around the corner?

  • Comment number 46.

    Sadly, all those the want CCTV cameras because "they feel safer" fail to realise CCTV evidence is used post mortem. All it means is when you get mugged and beaten or raped they may well catch it on camera so that the people that committed the act can be found and punished. They do NOT stop the act being committed in the first place!!!

    People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.

  • Comment number 47.

    3@JohnH makes two different points! Yes they can blame liberalism and freedoms for the western decadence but like many things there is one rule for men and one for the rest. I do believe Islam and Islamic male clerics see their religion as the last chance of holding onto power and male supremacy. Religions have always been about power and the control of people.

    Here is the conflict: the majority of UK society is liberal, see freedom as right, which includes freedom of speech, religion, sexual orientation, ECT. However there's a part of community that uses this freedom to proclaim a message that is fundamentally opposite to the core values of the society. Here I’m not talking about family values but something deeper. What happens is that both partners in this marriage don’t work! You can’t have (or even use) a liberal society to further your ideology and at the same time preach a message of non-liberalism which is at the core of Islamic teaching. When we will see men, women and children sitting together at Friday prayers? When we going to see women clerics teaching men? When are we going to see every Muslim, man or woman, be able to interpret the meaning of the Koran and have a debate on it’s meaning for today? If any religion is true, and God is true and living, then all religions should not look to the past but to the future.

    Here is the problem a religion that is stuck in the past, at odds with a liberal western society; sorry it’s bound to raise some suspicion on the part of other people. So the question is not is it right the use CCTV to target communities because that we always happen with any section of society that does not conform to whatever the government believes is white middleclass England.

  • Comment number 48.

    A disproportionately high concentration of CCTV cameras located in mainly Muslim areas of Birmingham has caused anger among some residents.

    **********

    I would suggest to the Muslim community that their anger would be better directed at those within their own communities who plot to kill and maim innocent people in the name of Islam.

  • Comment number 49.

    What's all the fuss about? We are ALL monitored, in one way or another, 24/7 in shops, offices, car parks, public buildings etc? The police use ANPR - I'm happy about that too, as I am a legal driver, plus pay for insurance, car tax and a valid MOT.

    Most supermarket cctv cameras are getting bigger and lower - that's ok too; let's just hope someone doesn't bang their heads on one soon.

    Nothing to hide, nothing to fear? Just like this site, or any internet facility - it's recorded. Fine. Where I draw the line is internet banking as it's a target for hackers? Stick with your branch/DD/and/or 'phone banking in the UK?

  • Comment number 50.

    3. At 09:54am on 06 Aug 2010, JohnH wrote:...............

    Spot on, i fully agree.

  • Comment number 51.

    Any muslims from this area of Birmingham on to give their opinion?
    I'd be really interested to hear a few as I'm having real trouble making up my mind. Part of me wants to say that, even though I hate the "human rights" arguement that's always trotted out in these situations I believe that people may have a legitimate claim to protest this one, especially if the whole affair was conducted in the slightly shady, underhand way the report presents it (no public consultation, told it was for fighting regular crime then suddenly it's come through a £3m anti terrorism fund), However as other posters have said if there are a disproportionate amount of terrorist links in the area then you'd think most people would be happy to have the cameras there to move this stigma away from their homes & businesses. Some opinions from the people this actually effects would be much appreciated.
    One thing I would like to know though is how this scheme cost £3m I'm gonna have a guess that not all that money went on those cameras & if not where didi the rest go?

  • Comment number 52.

    32. At 10:59am on 06 Aug 2010, Mr Wonderful wrote:
    It is not right to use CCTV to target communities.

    However, I believe these cameras were installed to target the levels of crime in the area, not as a response to the residents' ethnicity.

    ---

    Firstly its a not particularly high crime area.

    Secondly they were funded from a special counter terrorism fund.

    Thirdly, its not 'normal' cctv coverage, its literally every road, and every corner in the residential areas. Read the article, apparently its pretty much the most densely coveraged residential area in the UK. There are proper , sink-hole estates, places that really are unsafe for the casual pedestrian, with only a fraction of the number of cameras.


  • Comment number 53.

    11. At 10:18am on 06 Aug 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    CCTV only records crime, it doesn't prevent it.


    -----------------------------------


    So do you suggest we should catch violent criminals, vandals and theives after they have committed a crime as it hasn't prevented it?

    If someone knows that they can be caught in CCTV committing a crime maybe they haven't done it... sadly you can't measure the amount of times people haven't committed a crime because a CCTV camera is there.

  • Comment number 54.

    I do find it funny when I read the comments on here about the BBC being "Leftist" and "Supporting Muslims" Actually ever since the Hutton whitewash and the installation of a government puppet at the head of the BBC it has become further right than even Maggie herself was.

    This debate and debates like it has been set up to whip up hatred against Muslims, not support them. The BBC know that they will get the torrent of racist venom that debates like this cause and that folks, is why they set these kind of debates up.

    As for the CCTV cameras I know some of you say you are happy with them because you hate Muslims and they only target muslims but those families spied on using CCTV regarding school catchment areas werent Muslims were they? You see the govt cons the public into thinking that draconian stuff such as CCTV on every lampost is only "anti muslim" knowing that the general population will think (as you can see above) its a good thing because it only targets Muslims. The reality is that these cameras are everyhwere and they are spying on everyone. The govt is using peoples own racist hatred against them, to strip those same people of their rights. Things are getting a little better since Labour were kicked out of power but the BBC still has many debates like this which are simply designed to get people behind things like draconian CCTV.

    George Orwell wasnt even close!

    Be careful people, your own hatred is being used against you. By the time you wise up, it may be too late.

  • Comment number 55.

    41. At 11:09am on 06 Aug 2010, joshua goldblum wrote:

    The Islamification of England is getting very close now. Good luck to Islam just what England deserves.

    ----

    They'll have to be bloody busy, being less than 3% of the population and all.

    I'd imagine it will take more than a few double shifts.

  • Comment number 56.

    What a surprise, the tories and the police are spying on ethnic minorities.

    How would the tories like it if a load of CCTV cameras were installed in kensington and chelsea with the specific aim of spying on its residents.

  • Comment number 57.

    The authorities are caught between the rock and the hard place, damned if they do and damned if they don't. The only sensible way of sorting this out and in the meantime maintain security is to have police officers on the beat, hopefully from the same religion and community they are watching. Not all muslims are terrorists or insurgents. The majority of them only want to go to work, raise a family and get on with life, unfortunately like all communities there are dissidents and they have to be watched. There must be a way that this matter can be sorted out without resorting to stupidity.

  • Comment number 58.

    43. At 11:15am on 06 Aug 2010, Fitz13 wrote:
    4. At 09:55am on 06 Aug 2010, Nok wrote:
    As a post-script-

    Britain has had the highest number of CCTV cameras per capita in the world.

    Now who can tell me how many acts of terrorism in the UK have prevented by CCTV? I don't mean how many terrorists have been found to be on CCTV after the event.

    Specifically how many plots has it foiled?

    ------------------------------------

    How can you measure the number of times an event didn't happen?

    Also capturing terrorists after they have been involved in an terrorist act is stopping them causing any more.

    By your argument we shouldn't try and capture criminals after they have commited a crime as it doesn't prevent the crime.

    ------

    No, if you read my original post i think you'll find that my argument, which is backed up by numerous statistics is that cctv doesn't prevent crime at all.

    Meaning £3 million in taxpayers money has been wasted on a scheme that is not going to acheive its stated goal of preventing terrorism.

    Or even act as a deterrant.

    Its not the CCTV cameras per se that residents are complaining about, its the sheer density of the covergae, and the fact that they have been lied to over and over again about the purpose of the coverage.


  • Comment number 59.

    I believe that there are far too few CCTV cameras monitoring our streets. I would welcome about 3-4 on my estate, which has recently become the loitering area for a large number of youths. They don't bother me, as they know what will happen to them if they come near my house, but they do bother some of the older people. It isn't going to be long before they start to vandalise and cause mischief, as the vast majority of youngsters seem to do. CCTV cameras can act as a deterrent.
    Evidence accrued from CCTV should be used far more extensively to get the vermin off our streets.

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    Like bankers who wrecked our economy. Like politicians who legislate to support the bankers, Like idiots who suggested this idea in the first place.

  • Comment number 62.

    42. At 11:12am on 06 Aug 2010, LoonyLiberal wrote:
    As a young, single, white male, I'd also loathe a disproportionately high amount of CCTV cameras watching my every move where I live.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Got news for you boyo, the police know every move you make with your car. you can be traced with all the cameras currently on our roads so why object if a camers in the shopping area catches the guy whom beat you up and stole your credit cards?

  • Comment number 63.

    It's the same old story.
    People wish to be seen as a distinct group and treated differently from everyone else when it benefits them.

    The sad fact is that Muslims make up about 3% of our population but make up 10% of our prison population. So why would anyone be surprised by the increased CC tv in a Muslim area? Surely the prevention of crime is a good thing for any community?

    It's the same as operation trident. Set up to investigate 'Black on black' gun and knife violence because of the increased incidence within the black community. But, if you try and target the prevention of crime by ethnic group, rather than the justice, and suddenly there is an issue!

  • Comment number 64.

    If you live in a Muslim area and don't like the Camera just wear a Burka you will not be visile to the camera so the authorities will find you difficult to identify.
    Those of us who are not Muslim of course have to put up with being spied on.

  • Comment number 65.

    Why are cameras up ?as most minoritys rule uk ,I expect it is really to protect them against racist attacks not to save the rest of us from any terrorist threat
    the newspaper today reports a council only serving halal meat in primary schools in one area of london,last week a northern council was giving away free swims to asylum seekers despite the removal of free swims for over 60s.

  • Comment number 66.

    It is going to be awfully hard to get this past the moderators but here goes. Most acts of terrorism in this country have been committed by either Muslims or Irish Nationalists. Hopefully, the latter have ceased. It therefore makes sense to watch the former. No offence, no hostility to their religion - get that moderator!! - just looking where problems are likely to occur.
    And moderator go to our universities and hear the anti Israel ranting and read BBC reports of recruitment of suicide bombers on our campuses. I would suggest that CCCT cameras should be installed there.

    As for the Muslim communities, the very act of using this expression, links them together under one homogenous belief. Their leaders might be told to excercise leadership, recognise that surveillance is necessary - as this country is involved in a war against terrorists - and that if they can assist in policing their very own communities things would be better for all of us.

    But Moderator, you must realise that there are many Muslims who strongly dislike our society and in opinion polls have indicated a willingness to use violence if their religion/culture is offended.

    And Moderator, despite BBC appeasement, it is very easy to offend them - one can offend by belonging to another religion for example.

    And finally, I would say to the Muslims, none of us like these damn cameras and what the state does with the data collected. However, if they become too intrusive I will leave this country and live in rural France. Muslims might prefer to move to Pakistan, Iran, Somalia, or Saudi Arabia where, presumably, there is less surveillance.

  • Comment number 67.

    Big brother is big brother no matter how its defended.Spying on people is just that,it neither catches criminals or discourages crime or would be terrorists.Its just a way to "control" the population. I would like to know in which political manifesto in the last 20 years has there been any reference to the spread of CCTV and its virtues? The simple answer to that is nowhere.The people of this country should be allowed to vote on every important issue such as CCTV,its simply not good enough for politicians to sweep aside democracy and claim those who did vote in an election gave them the right to ride roughshod over any policy put forward or introduce new ones without "asking" for approval from the population first. You most certainly do not carry on regardless and ignore the very voters who put trust in each representative.
    No sane person would vote for any political party who used as part of their manifesto the installation of CCTV to entrap just about anybody they choose without debate.It doesnt matter where the cameras are it is an afront to all citizens and everyone should be removed or have a referendum as to why the people were not consulted first.Government and its civil servants are merely lackies of the people NOT the masters and should know their place.Take them all down.

  • Comment number 68.

    38. At 11:05am on 06 Aug 2010, Anaiya wrote:
    For if they are doing nothing wrong, then there is nothing to worry about, is there? :)
    ----------------------
    There we have it, the old cry that always rings out.
    I do nothing wrong but I object to having my movements recorded unnecessarily but you think it's perfectly acceptable for someone in front of a screen to make a judgement about your actions based on boredom or carelessness; cause you all sorts of problems without any come-back.
    Small people in large jobs (which describes the majority of council workers, social workers and civil servants) are using this tools inappropriately. These people simply cannot be trusted because there are never any repercussions to their inept actions - have you had cause to write an official complaint recently? Have you received any satisfaction? No, I didn't think so.
    There are many, many pieces of legislation that have come into force which remove so many of the rights you think you have - beware the trend, it must be reversed lest we find there is no way out of the trap that is slowly closing around us.
    Find and understand the "First They Came" poem from the second world war and I paraphrase....
    In England, they came first for those that do not sort their rubbish, And I didn’t speak up because I sort my recycling;
    And then they came for the fair dodgers, And I didn’t speak up because I didn't dodge my fair;
    And then they came for motorists, And I didn’t speak up because I don't drive;
    And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
    If the people of this country don't speak out against unjust decisions that affect our lives, then the trap is set and we have no hope of recovery.

  • Comment number 69.

    43. At 11:15am on 06 Aug 2010, Fitz13 wrote:

    How can you measure the number of times an event didn't happen?

    Also capturing terrorists after they have been involved in an terrorist act is stopping them causing any more.

    By your argument we shouldn't try and capture criminals after they have commited a crime as it doesn't prevent the crime.

    -------------------------

    The event would happen. The plot would be foiled. If it was due to cctv then it would be a useful statistic.

    Being able to track what happened leading up to the crime after it was committed is of some use, but to identify the crime as it is being committed is far more useful.

  • Comment number 70.

    21. At 10:35am on 06 Aug 2010, Nok wrote:

    15. At 10:24am on 06 Aug 2010, Feel_Bad_Factor wrote:

    Hailing from Birmingham myself I have a few Asian friends in this area, albeit Indian, and they tell me that these cameras are welcomed by most of the community on grounds of safety and security. It has nothing to do with terrorism.

    It wouldn't suprise me if other contributors on HYS from Birmingham agree with me however when I say that Muslims in general make absolutley no effort whatsoever in these communities. They all want their own little world seperate to the so called nonsensical 'infidel'rubbish.

    --------

    Which bit of Birmingham do you live in?



    Good question, Nok: perhaps Feel_Bad_Factor is posting in from Birmingham, Alabama?

    I'm sure a report came out about ten years ago concluding that the only effective use of CCTV was so that CCTV camera operators could perv at mini-skirted lasses "out on the town" on Friday and Saturday nights. If the community in this "Muslim" district are upset about these cameras they should hire a bunch of hookers to promenade about in a different district and wait for all the cameras to be moved there. It would be less arduous work for the prostitutes too!

  • Comment number 71.

    Brilliant! Also make them wear "crescent", "OOM" & "Buddha" signs to distinguish between Muslims of Asian origin, Indian Hindus and Srilankan buddhists.

    Come to think of it, why would any terrorist would STAY in the area, when they can simply move to any other part of UK to plan their activities! Or we gonna put electric fence & armed police patrol around Birmingham?

    The whole idea is shortsighted and will only please an extreme right-wing minority. When the government will learn that to beat Islamic extremism, they must work WITH British Muslims. Pushing them on other-side of the fence WILL NOT help.

    As for security argument, sure there must be more measures, but all those measures should be adopted across the board.
    I would appreciate if the government doubles or even triples security cameras on streets. I have problem with stereotyping and flanging just one area out, just because majority of populous there is either Muslim/Jew/Martian.

    PS: Did CCTV cameras stop two teenagers snatching 7 months old baby from his sister's arm and throwing in front of the BUS, in Croydon?

  • Comment number 72.

    This has nothing to do with civil rights and everything to do with appallingly cack handed community relations. To my mind the civil rights objections to CCTV (and DNA data basing) are archaic. Modern liberals need to seriously ask themselves this hard question - which truly is the greater threat to our civil liberties - the British state hemmed in by democratic accountability and a watchful press? Or indiscriminate Islamist terrorists, anti-social ASBO-munchers or child murderers? But this story is a PR disaster. Did no one think how it would play? - "spying on law-abiding British Muslim communities using anti-terrorist money." Great! Don't they do elementary PR in that force?

  • Comment number 73.

    Be serious - if you have a concern based on intelligence and recent events then you must monitor it and those likely to be the source. I don't find global terrorism coming from the Buddist community, the Hindu community etc - but the reality is it does come from the Muslim community. But of course we can't say that - it's racist! Bull - Muslim extreemists and their terror ways are the current threat and so of course the police and security forces have to keep an eye on these areas for the protection of the wider community. If they don't like it there are plenty of Pakistan International Airlines flights available.

  • Comment number 74.

    Personally I dont care how many muslims are upset, every one in the country for all I care, because I would much rather upset a minority group than witness another 7/7 or worse.

    Just think next time it could be one of your friends or family killed or maimed in the name of islam, then ask yourself which is more important - offending a small minority of the population or protecting the majority...... its really a no brainer.

    And yes, there will be a next time, no matter how many cameras are set up as long as our Judges fail to recognise that a terrorist has no human rights!

  • Comment number 75.

    If there is a high rate of crime in this area then CCTV can only be good. It can make people feel a lot safer knowing that if anything goes wrong it could well be on tape. When people from other countries move to the uk they have to put up with the same things that as we do so why complain. In this day and age we need something that makes us feel safe. If a person is not doing anything wrong then they have nothing to fear. Violence amongst young muslims etc against each other seems to be on the increase which means these young people are ignoring their parents and their traditions.

  • Comment number 76.

    Ironic comment:

    The Muslim community might have responded by encouraging everyone walking in the streets covered by these cameras to wear the full burkah. This would have had the effect of satisfying the religious and nullifying the effect of the surveillance. An opportunity missed!


    More serious comment:

    It is a fact that in the period after cessation of UK mainland hostilities by the IRA, subsequent acts of terrorism involving loss of life and serious damage to property have been conducted by persons inspired or indoctrinated by islamic extremists. This has naturally led the security services and police to concentrate on Moslem communities in their surveillance of actual and potential terrorist cells, with some success. It follows that increasing CCTV surveillance might enable persons engaged in terrorist acts to be tracked in their movements. So there is logic in placing CCTV cameras in these areas. The only problem was the failure to consult community leaders, who should welcome and support efforts to eradicate terrorism from their midst.


    Additional comment:

    I would like automatic number plate recognition cameras with real time acquisition of vehicles without tax and insurance to be everywhere, so that these vehicles may be identified and removed from our streets and their drivers/owners prosecuted.

  • Comment number 77.

    This shouldn't be a race/religious thing.
    The reason for deploying the cameras should be clearly stated by the police. I heard on TV that they are required because there is high petty crime in the area.
    If that's so, then the muslim thing is irrelevant.
    The best way of dealing with those that are pandering for attention is to ignore them.
    All the time the cameras are off, the crimewave will continue and the muslims who live in that area will be the ones to suffer.

  • Comment number 78.

    As I understand the matter the MAIN use of the cameras is concerned with potential motoring offences e.g. uninsured cars, unlicenced drivers etc. Does the area have or potentially have a high proprotion of these types of offences? If it does then the cameras are totally justified and only those failing to comply with the law have much to fear from them.
    A secondary use is the potential for anti-terrorist police to utilise the images. Now I can understand why even the innocent are worried by the anti-terrorist police as they seemed have inflicted more casulaties on the innocent than the guilty up to now. However it is a sad fact that most terrorism in world at present is by muslims (usually on other muslims but often on non-muslims as well) and as such any large concentration of muslims will probably hold at least some terrorists or potential terrorists within their mist as such it is not unreasonable that they would attract greater attention. Just as high crime areas get more crime patrols than low crime areas. Things may change with time but to me it seems reasonable that areas of potentially greatest risk, whether as a potential target or potential perpatrator, get the greatest attention.
    Perhaps if the muslim community engaged more with the authorities and informed them of potential terrorists within their mists rather than putting religious affiliation before community affiliation they would not need the cameras.
    My personal opinion is that someone who demands your loyalty and silence as they are from the same group (be it religion, work, street whatever) is the most likely to cause you and yours harm as they are putting themselves, not the community, first.

  • Comment number 79.

    In my opinion there is probably no better or complete religion than Islam. Muslims are peaceful, thoughful and trusting people.

    The problem is that some forces seem to be working within the relgion to test this, they promote violence, power-taking and interpret parts of the Holy Qur'an for their own ends. This weakens Islam, especially in non-Islamic countries.

    In Birmingham, there are a few cameras, boo,hoo..when the IRA attacked britain, the army was sent in, by comparison and in terms of the scale of the threat a few cameras is a pittance. Britain has to defend itself and its diverse population including Muslims from those that would do harm.

    Islam has to strengthen itself here, Britain needs to help with this, the Holy Qur'an needs to be taught to all who want to hear it, and especially in schools, and Communities like this should have the police supported by the Muttawa.

    Islam has real problems at the moment and it seems any 2 Muslims will give 2 different interpretations of it and expected attitudes towards non-muslims and others, (yet Islam covers ALL, even non-Muslims) this may be due to the internet or just the lack of quality teaching, but hiding the problem will not make it go away, and where there is a vacuum,(perhaps of education) 'unholy' forces will try to exploit it.



  • Comment number 80.

    I think the law enforcement agencies should be able to put cameras where they think they are most needed to deter and resolve serious crime. I don't think they should feel in any way constrained by various community groups, someone's idea of racial bias or whatever.

    There is however a BUT---, and it's quite a big one. Does anyone look at or monitor this stuff? Is any action taken based on what's captured on CCTV? How many big bags of weedkiller have been transported around Birmingham with no action taken? Indeed I'm very keen that all such incidences are followed up. Not that that would stop terrorism you understand, because as we're all aware most of the weedkiller will be used to kill- er --weeds. What I do want is the police to understand that terrorists and indeed other serious criminals actually spend most of their time doing what everyone else does. And that unless they come up with a powerful series of behaviours or incidents that are very strongly linked with future serious crime, they might not be able to justify the use of resource to prevent crime ( a losing battle, and the fact that people want to commit crime is scarcely the police's fault). Which would push them to concentrate instead on catching perpetrators, which is what I think we pay police for.

    I'm pretty sure that this realisation would influence the number of CCTV cameras placed out there.

  • Comment number 81.

    How about sticking CCTV cameras in corporate accountants' offices so we can detect the tax evasion that's costing this country billions in lost revenue?

  • Comment number 82.

    21. At 10:35am on 06 Aug 2010, Nok wrote:
    15. At 10:24am on 06 Aug 2010, Feel_Bad_Factor wrote:

    I've lived here all my life and the prevalent attitude in Birmingham is that we all get along remarkably well and have done for decades, regardless of colour or religon.

    Its one of the things that make us so proud of our city.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Which bit of Birmingham do you live in? There are parts of Birmingham that are 'no-go' areas if you're white (and particularly a woman, no matter how modestly you're dressed - I've had friends who've been spat on for daring to walk through a 'mini Islamabad' in their hometown). Balsall Heath, Sparkhill, Saltley and, for that matter, Lozells and Aston with their large black communities, are definitely not areas to visit if you fall into the wrong ethnic group.

    Back on topic, these areas do typically have higher levels of crime of all sorts, such as kerb crawling, muggings and vehicle theft, so it's only right that CCTV is used there. Once again there are complaints raised from the Muslim communities who have decided to place themselves into ghettos and therefore SHOULD be monitored - there is something inherently untrustworthy about huge numbers of people who decide to live in their own 'city within a city' based purely on a shared religion and language, effectively cutting themselves off from everyone else. Plus, what police officer would feel safe walking through these areas to patrol them? It's not a job I'd relish!



  • Comment number 83.

    I do remember seeing on some tv channel AFTER 7/7 cctv footage from some station or other, this obviously helped the police stop the bombings NOT!.
    Seriously what are they hoping to achieve, and more importantly what are you worried about cameras for unless your planning to do something illegal.
    Its the same with speed cameras, people complain about speed cameras and they will only affect people driving ILLEGALLY.
    I can not see a real credible reason why they shouldnt be installed the intention is to catch criminals, that is all and clearly the people wishing to have the cameras installed feel the need. it would make a change from the blacked out land rovers constantly circling the island infront of the central mosque in bham.

  • Comment number 84.

    The fact is CCTV surveillance is REACTIVE by it's nature. It deters criminals from committing the crime because it represents the threat of being CAUGHT and PROSECUTED AFTER committing the crime. The extremists has no fear of being caught as their crime involves blowing themselves up. They don't care if Government has their CCTV footage in HD, to play over and over again.

    You can't beat SUCH CRIMES with conventional and effective methods, designed to handle "CONVENTIONAL" crimes. Government needs to adapt PROACTIVE methods, which involves closer relationship with British Muslim community. Besides don't we give asylum to Ahmedi Muslims of Pakistani origin, because they are "discriminated" and treated differently by the STATE. How is this any different?

  • Comment number 85.

    47. At 11:18am on 06 Aug 2010, AM wrote:
    3@JohnH makes two different points! Yes they can blame liberalism and freedoms for the western decadence but like many things there is one rule for men and one for the rest. I do believe Islam and Islamic male clerics see their religion as the last chance of holding onto power and male supremacy. Religions have always been about power and the control of people.

    Here is the conflict: the majority of UK society is liberal, see freedom as right, which includes freedom of speech, religion, sexual orientation, ECT. However there's a part of community that uses this freedom to proclaim a message that is fundamentally opposite to the core values of the society. Here I’m not talking about family values but something deeper. What happens is that both partners in this marriage don’t work! You can’t have (or even use) a liberal society to further your ideology and at the same time preach a message of non-liberalism which is at the core of Islamic teaching. When we will see men, women and children sitting together at Friday prayers? When we going to see women clerics teaching men? When are we going to see every Muslim, man or woman, be able to interpret the meaning of the Koran and have a debate on it’s meaning for today? If any religion is true, and God is true and living, then all religions should not look to the past but to the future.

    Here is the problem a religion that is stuck in the past, at odds with a liberal western society; sorry it’s bound to raise some suspicion on the part of other people. So the question is not is it right the use CCTV to target communities because that we always happen with any section of society that does not conform to whatever the government believes is white middleclass England.


    -------------------------------------

    I do not disagree with you on the majority of your post, however your final question should have been "...conforms to what the government believes is normal British society".

    I could have used a word processor, used a search and replace for Muslim with Roman Catholic and Cleric to Priest.

    The hypocrisy of some posters here is that we would have been up in arms against a visit by a Muslim cleric who was an ex-fighter for a genocidal nazi regime, who was the head of an organisation that had historically burned women and men for non-conformity to his churches teachings, who recently condemned the making of a woman priest as a "sin" and was an apologist for serial child abusers.

    We are, however, not up in arms but we are paying for this person to visit the UK.

  • Comment number 86.

    Why not ? If the police think it's needed then so be it. Being Islamic doesn't make you above the law . If it bothers you then don't do anything that the law doesn't like and you will not come to any harm.

  • Comment number 87.


    "A disproportionately high concentration of CCTV cameras located in mainly Muslim areas of Birmingham has caused anger among some residents. Should the cameras be removed"?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Firstly what do you mean, that it has caused anger among "some residents", what percentage of the residents here are we talking about?


    To say "some" residents oppose it, implies 'many' residents by comparison agree with it.



    As for CCTV cameras in general, if you are doing nothing illegal, you have nothing to worry about.


    I work in a hotel kitchen, and there are CCTV cameras monitoring us all the time.


    As I do not have access to police records, I cannot quantify how much crime they help detect.


    Finally, I believe it was the IRA who once said "you have to be successful 100% of the time, we have only to be successful once"

  • Comment number 88.

    IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE THEN YOU SHOULD AGREE WITH PROTECTING THE PUBLIC. If I lived in a community that had historic, and ongoing security threats, I would want extra surveillance. Civil liberties should not get in the way of protecting the wider public. Perhaps communities who have these measures in place should be more active in dealing with the elements in their midst who create the problems. It should also be made very clear which communities are under special surveillance measures and why. NO MORE TERROR ATTACKS!!!

  • Comment number 89.

    I think the problem here arises from the fact that these areas of Birmingham have been let evolve into Ghetto,s.We have lots of CCTV in Halesowen no one is complaining.So what have these communities got to hide.Kevin Rudd made the point in Australia,we make no excuse for monitoring your Mosques and communities,we are not trying to kill you.

  • Comment number 90.

    Uninsured cars, unlicenced drivers.I think one insurance company advertised recently you are 50% more likely to be involved in an accident with an uninsured driver in the West Midlands.

  • Comment number 91.

    Given that CCTV is useless at crime 'prevention' anyway, and not much better at crime 'detection,' the question remains: what is it there for?

    Surveillance... even if the capabilities of the system are not at the levels you'd imagine if you watch [spooks]. Hmmm.

    Perhaps the Muslims are right to be concerned.

  • Comment number 92.

    youarejoking wrote:
    Big brother is big brother no matter how its defended.Spying on people is just that,it neither catches criminals or discourages crime or would be terrorists.Its just a way to "control" the population. I would like to know in which political manifesto in the last 20 years has there been any reference to the spread of CCTV and its virtues? The simple answer to that is nowhere.The people of this country should be allowed to vote on every important issue such as CCTV,its simply not good enough for politicians to sweep aside democracy and claim those who did vote in an election gave them the right to ride roughshod over any policy put forward or introduce new ones without "asking" for approval from the population first. You most certainly do not carry on regardless and ignore the very voters who put trust in each representative.
    No sane person would vote for any political party who used as part of their manifesto the installation of CCTV to entrap just about anybody they choose without debate.It doesnt matter where the cameras are it is an afront to all citizens and everyone should be removed or have a referendum as to why the people were not consulted first.Government and its civil servants are merely lackies of the people NOT the masters and should know their place.Take them all down.
    ========================================================================
    Hmmmmmmm....................What have YOU got to hide then???????

  • Comment number 93.

    TT@54 "The govt is using peoples own racist hatred against them, to strip those same people of their rights". N0 - the government use fear to control the people not hatred.

    Hatred is rather a too strong word – as hatred normally involves some form of violence and I don’t see a lot of rioting. I think most people have options which of course the government don’t want you to have because they supply all the answers.



  • Comment number 94.

    A classic case again of a minority (usually ethnic) not only wishing to be treated differently than the white majority but preferentially and thinking they have the right to be treated as a special case. For those of us who have long since given up on the notion of multiculturalism and that it can be made to work it comes as no surprise. The rest should simply open their eyes and resist such selfishness and hypocrisy before what little is left of their country worth keeping is finally detroyed forever.

  • Comment number 95.

    The current threat is from Muslim based terror organisations.
    How would placing the surveillance cameras in, say, a Chinese area reduce the threat?

  • Comment number 96.

    I hate to say this but its a fact!.
    Most Mosques these days are the first place most illegal Immigrants head for, inside they find work and somewhere to say. working for nothing till their fingers bleed.
    Its not right that someone in this day and age. Lets be honest here! can own a slave and thats what is happening to illegal immigrants.
    This nation knows what its like and the thing about it is we dont want to see or even hear its happening again.
    There is worse thing in life than whips, just because they don't use them doesn't mean its not slavery!.
    I should add that its not just mosques that its happening at.it also happens with other races, but they dont use churches as meeting places.

    And old proverb is that he who shouts the loudest has most to lose"

  • Comment number 97.

    I can't understand why people get so exercised about CCTV. Has any one ever had a problem of any sort as a result of being observed on CCTV, unless they were doing something wrong of course? No? I thought not.

  • Comment number 98.

    A disproportionately high concentration of CCTV cameras located in mainly Muslim areas of Birmingham has caused anger among some residents. Should the cameras be removed?
    -----------

    How is it possible to say what needs to be said without causing offence or getting clipped by the moderators on this thing?

    Okay.... I appreciate that it is unpleasant to live in an environment where you feel you are constantly being watched, but in fairness to the security services, the Islamic community in this country has not really provided us with much reason to do anything else.

    Given the atrocities of 7/7 committed in the name of Islam, the various plots and other attempts that have either been uncovered, the crowds of placard waving extremists calling for death and destruction, the groups shouting "rapists, murderers!" at our returning troops, is it any wonder that there is a higher density of cameras in Muslim populated areas.

    In fairness, we seem to have a disproportionately higher number of issues and problems with the Islamic community, compared to other communities, bar the indigenous white community.

    At some point the Muslim community of Great Britain is going to have to look inward to see where the problems lay and deal with them as essentially they do operate an almost "closed shop" mentality concerning some issues and thus there is little we as a wider community can do to resolve these issues.

    Its not easy to say and I am sure I may be pilloried as some form of Islamophobe, which I assure is definitely not the case, but it really doesn’t take an idiot to work out that there are issues within Islam here in the UK and its only adherents from within that are going to be able to work it out.

    I think it is fair to say that the Islamic community here in Great Britain is going to have provide something positive and resort to reasoned debate and a demonstration of willingness to integrate, as opposed to the usual fire-brand tactics to resolve this issue and gain trust from the wider community.

    I know that’s harsh, but that’s how I see it.

  • Comment number 99.

    CCTV in this country in recent years became an arm of the state's obsession with control of our lives.

    It can only work as an after the event picture of something that has already happened. There just are not enough people to constantly monitor all screens live. Fine for a shop for proving the guilt of a shoplifter, or automatic speeding and parking fines, or monitoring factory yards, private property. The deterrence effect just moves the antisocial behaviour round the corner, except the drunks, who forget the cameras.

    There is no substitute in most situations in the community for feet on the ground and targetted action against known offenders. Cameras have no local knowledge and cannot intervene.

    If a public area is so risky or troublesome that cameras are installed why isn't action taken to sort it out? Isn't removing the problem a better course of action than spending money on better ways of observing the problem?

  • Comment number 100.

    Surely somebody is going to say, if they haven't already, that if you've nothing to hide then you've nothing to fear.

    It's usually what some naive people say whenever the privacy implications of CCTV are discussed, and especially if people are complaining about our surveillance society.

    Well, there are plenty of people who had nothing to hide, but nevertheless found themselves being questioned by the police for hours or even days, some of whom were chanrged with crimes they didn't commit and were tried in court, and even a few who were sentenced to long prison terms. If you're sceptical, try googling Stefan Kiszko and Trupsi Patel. There have been plenty more!

    Nothing to hide, nothing to fear? Rubbish!

 

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