July 22 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Redbridge Council’s dreaded CCTV “spy” fleet is destined for the scrapheap with the government set to announce a ban.
Cars and motorbikes mounted with cameras currently drive around the borough catching residents parking illegally, accruing millions of pounds in fines.
Now the results of a public consultation carried out by the Department of Communities and Local Government are to be released.
And the department said the results were likely to be tough on councils for the way they go about increasing revenue from parking tickets, including by using moving and static CCTV.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said he wanted to rein in “over-zealous and unfair rules on parking enforcement” in a bid to jump-start the country’s struggling high streets.
Last week Communities Minister Brandon Lewis reiterated the government’s desire to ban the cars.
Pensioner Poppy Baker , of Clayhall, fell victim to one such car last month and was fined £55.
She was driving her 91-year-old husband Charles and, fearing the boot where his wheelchair was kept was open, stopped on a yellow line to check.
She said: “Spy cars aren’t fair are they?
“If a traffic warden had stopped and seen me closing the boot they would have realised I wasn’t parking and it would have been sorted out there and then. The cars drive off very quickly.”
Redbridge made a staggering £1.4million from CCTV enforcement fines, including “spy” cars, in 2012/13.
Ron Jeffries, of Spearpoint Gardens, Aldborough Hatch, said he though it was an “excellent” idea to get rid of the cars.
“I haven’t praised Eric Pickles before but I’m going to now,” the 81-year-old said.
“We don’t live in a Nazi state. We live in a free, open society and they strike me as sneaky.”
A spokesman for Redbridge Council said it would wait until an official announcement is made before the council changes its practices and procedures.
He said: “We use CCTV where appropriate to help enforce the rules of the road.
“These rules protect the safety of motorists and pedestrians, and help the free movement of traffic.”