Earlier this month, Spears filmed scenes for the video in and around London, including one in which she flees a building in the borough of Hackney while clutching a pistol. And for a community still scarred from the August riots that spread across the nation, that crossed a line.
"I think she should apologize and make a sizeable donation to a Hackney charity that deals with young people, in compensation for the rudeness and damage that she's done to our community," borough Councilor Ian Rathbone
target="_blank">toldthe ITV news program "London Tonight."
"It is only a music video, but it's images like this, with pop stars glamorizing gangs, which means that some young people ... get drawn in," Hackney's Member of Parliament, Diane Abbott, added. "Britney should really know better."
Even more concerning was the fact that, according to the Hackney Council, which okayed the video shoot, there was no mention of a gun being used in the "Criminal" production. If there had been, the Council says, Spears and co. most certainly would not have been allowed to film in the borough's recently restored Stoke Newington Town Hall.
"In this case we did not agree that a replica gun could be used at Stoke Newington Town Hall and we are disappointed," the Council said in a statement to "London Tonight." "We will be raising this matter with the production company."
A spokesperson for the singer could not be reached for comment on the "Criminal" controversy by press time.