09/30/2010

UK cops apologize for cameras used to spy on Muslims

Some say the cameras placed in mostly Muslim neighborhoods damaged trust in police and caused anger in the community

Associated Press

LONDON — British police have apologized for a counterterrorism project that installed surveillance cameras in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods.

A report published Thursday criticized the surveillance program in parts of Birmingham, central England, saying it had damaged trust in police and caused anger in the community.

West Midlands Police constable Chris Sims said he was "deeply sorry" for putting up more than 200 number plate recognition and CCTV cameras in two mostly Muslim neighborhoods under a project which began in 2007.

Both areas had been associated in the past with Islamic extremism.

The project prompted protests from civil liberties groups and residents, who said the measures were heavy handed and complained they were not consulted.

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