Friday, September 17, 2010

What the Police say and do

The British police seem uncertain whether their activities can or should be governed by the law of the land and by all the ethical considerations and considerations of honesty which ought to be upheld by everyone, even policemen, in a civilized and democratic society.

They target minorities of various sorts at various times (just as the Jews were targeted in Hitler's Germany). They oppress minorities of various sorts at various times, sometimes in ways that may be as punitive and as destructive as actions against the Jews before the Second World War.

Muslims are one of the principal current targets.

From the Guardian, 27th. August, 2010

Police chiefs misled Birmingham city council over Muslim CCTV, inquiry told
Sir Paul Scott-Lee, former West Midlands chief constable, and Stuart Hyde, his assistant chief constable, face disciplinary action after telling Birmingham councillors the CCTV scheme for Muslim areas was not terror-related

Paul Lewis, Friday 27 August 2010 20.26 BST

Two police chiefs could face condemnation and disciplinary action after an inquiry was launched into claims they deliberately misled councillors about surveillance targeted at Muslim communities in Birmingham.

The £3.5m initiative to ringfence two Muslim suburbs with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras was shelved in June after an investigation by the Guardian.

Sir Paul Scott-Lee, who was West Midlands chief constable until April 2009, and Stuart Hyde, who was assistant chief constable, stand accused of deliberately misleading councillors over the true motives behind the monitoring programme. Several councillors who attended a meeting about why the cameras were being installed in their wards say they were told they were part of a Home Office scheme targeting antisocial behaviour and vehicle crime.

A network of 169 ANPR cameras was erected this year to form "rings of steel" around Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook, two largely Muslim neighbourhoods. There was no public consultation before the project, which also included the installation of additional CCTV and covert cameras.

Paul Lewis reported again in the Guardian on 1st. October, 2010. For some reason, this article is not available on the Guardian web-site. But it began like this:

"A secret police operation to place thousands of Muslims living in Birmingham under permanent surveillance was implemented with virtually no consultation, oversight or regard for the law, a report found yesterday .... police had misled residents into believing that hundreds of counter-terrorism cameras installed in streets around Sparkbrook and Washwood Heath were to be used to combat vehicle crime and antisocial behaviour.
In fact the £3m project was being run from the West Midlands police counter-terrorism unit with the consent of security officials at the Home Office and MI5."

"Police devised a "storyline" that concealed the true purpose of the cameras. Counter-terrorism insignia was removed from paperwork as part of a deliberate strategy to "market" the surveillance operation as a local policing scheme to improve community safety."

So it's OK to lie then? Officially? If you're a copper?

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