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Dozens of Birmingham CCTV cameras to be removed

Dozens of CCTV cameras across Birmingham are to be removed, the city council has said.

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The authority said 62 CCTV cameras do not meet Home Office guidelines

It said 62 cameras no longer meet legal requirements, in some cases because of their age or because they are in areas of low crime.

Birmingham City Council said removing the cameras will ensure it is "legally compliant" while still providing "protection and assurance".

But a campaigner said the cameras are important for "public safety".

Councillor John Cotton, the authority's cabinet member responsible for community safety, said an assessment of the council's community safety CCTV network found 62 of the 197 cameras no longer met Home Office guidelines.

They were either out of date technologically or situated in areas of low crime and anti-social behaviour, and are no longer justifiable under new surveillance laws.

Asked whether any consideration was given to upgrading the substandard equipment Mr Cotton said they could not be "replaced in a like for like way".

There will still be 258 cameras in operation across the city that form part of other schemes, plus the remaining 135 community safety cameras.

Money saved will go back into measures to protect the public, including eight new portable CCTV units, the council added.

Community campaigner Desmond Jaddoo said rising violent crime in the West Midlands means the cameras are a necessity and the city should "reinvest" in new cameras, rather than removing them.

"In the fight against crime and keeping streets safe, CCTV has an important role to play," he added.

The cameras are due to be removed at the end of November.

Copyright: BBC News

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