30 September 2010
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 today.
Project Champion was abandoned in June after an investigation by the Guardian revealed 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.
The network of CCTV and automatic number plate reading (ANPR) cameras, which were weeks away from being switched on, were intended to monitor people entering and leaving the predominantly Muslim suburbs.
Report: “Review of Project Champion”