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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 09:58 GMT
Police accused of bias over CCTV
CCTV cameras are not used by police in west Belfast
DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson has accused the police of bias for not using CCTV cameras in west Belfast.

Cameras are in place in the north, south and east of the city. But in west Belfast, the PSNI do not operate a police monitored CCTV system.

Mr Robinson accused republicans of blocking the crime prevention cameras when they should encourage their use.

But Michael Ferguson, Sinn Fein, said CCTV cameras were part of a "history of collusion and murder" in west Belfast.

Mr Robinson said: "There has been a feeling that they (cameras) are used for other purposes. But Sinn Fein has to get real on the issue.

"Mr Adams has said the war is over. Therefore, he should not be worrying about who is watching what is going on in west Belfast.

"He should be encouraging this technology in west Belfast to reduce the crime statistics."

'Not acceptable'

However, Mr Ferguson said using such cameras would not be acceptable to the people of west Belfast.

"West Belfast is probably one of the most spied-upon communities in Europe," he said.

"We already have three huge military installations in the west of the city: Springfield, Grosvenor, Woodbourne. People just ended a campaign to have a huge spy post taken off their homes in Divis Street.

"The history of CCTV, cameras and spying is the history of collusion and murder in west Belfast."

He suggested that Belfast City Council might follow the example set by Derry City Council and employ a private company to install and use CCTV equipment.

In a statement, the PSNI said CCTV was "just one option within a much larger anti-crime strategy which may, or may not work in particular areas, or for particular crimes".

The decision on where CCTV cameras should go could only take place following consultation with all community groups, the statement said.

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