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The controversial documentary Benefits Street is a "misrepresentation" of life for people on social security, according to a senior MP.
Dame Anne Begg says the Channel 4 show claimed it would portray life on a street where three-quarters of residents were on benefits, but then focused almost exclusively on those receiving unemployment benefits, which make up only a small proportion of the overall social security bill.
She said: "What struck me is it was called Benefits Street and then three-quarters or more of the programme followed one storyline which was about a petty criminal and shoplifter and how he lived on the proceeds of his crime, rather than the reality of what people face when they live on benefits."
The documentary depicted the lives of residents of James Turner Street in Birmingham, sparked hundreds of complaints to the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom and Channel 4 about the way it portrayed people on benefits. Some residents claimed they were tricked by film-makers into taking part.
But Channel 4 insists that it was "very clear and transparent" with those taking part about the nature of the programme it envisaged.
Channel 4 have been accused of "stirring up hatred" and creating a "skewed image" of society through their controversial programme Benefits Street.
In a petition to Change.org, Arshad Mahmood called on the television network to cancel the remaining episodes in the series. He said:
More than 5,000 people have signed his petition so far.
Thousands of people have signed a petition demanding that Channel 4 drop the remainder of their controversial show Benefits Street.
The show follows the life of a number of people on welfare in Birmingham and has prompted a police probe and hundreds of complaints from viewers.
Nearly 400 people have complained to Channel 4, and almost 300 people have complained to Ofcom, the Independent reports.
Channel 4 said that the series, filmed for more than a year, was "a fair reflection of the reality of life on a street where the majority of households receive benefits".
It was "a sympathetic, humane and objective portrayal of how people are coping with continuing austerity and cuts in benefits," it said.
It said that contributors were "briefed extensively" before filming took place and were "given support all the way thorough the process".
"The main contributors have been offered the opportunity to view the programmes they feature in before transmission. We took on board their comments and in some cases made changes to the programmes," it added.
On alleged criminal activity, Channel 4 said:
"The production crew were filming in a purely observational capacity - at no stage was criminal behaviour encouraged or condoned."All contributors were briefed that if they carried out criminal activity on camera this could result in criminal investigations after broadcast."
Tweets sent on Monday night contained abusive messages and death threats, aimed at participants in the Benefits Street programme, according to police.
Superintendent Long said: "We are assessing a number of tweets which were posted last night and investigating whether or not any criminal offences have been committed."
Channel 4 said that if any tweets "cross the line into specific threats", Twitter and the police would be notified.
The broadcaster said that it had received around 100 complaints, while Ofcom is thought to have received a similar number from viewers concerned about the portrayal of people on benefits.
West Midlands Police has revealed that is has been "inundated" with comments from people concerned about apparent criminal activity shown on a Channel 4 documentary, last night.
Supt Danny Long, said the force had not been involved in the programme Benefits Street and had not seen the footage until it was broadcast.
Police have today launched a review of footage captured by TV documentary Benefits Street following complaints about possible criminal activity caught on camera.
The programme, broadcast by Channel 4 yesterday, followed residents in James Turner Street in Winson Green, Birmingham.
Officers from West Midlands Police said they were "inundated" with comments from viewers throughout the programme and in the hours afterwards expressing concerns over some of the activity shown.
They have now launched a review of the footage to assess whether any criminal investigations should be carried out.