July 24 2014 Latest news:
Monday, June 23, 2014
Controversial “spy cars” - which help raise hundreds of thousands of pounds in parking fines - are to be banned.
The government announced on Saturday it would make it illegal to use mobile CCTV vehicles on their own to enforce on-street parking.
In a poll on carried out on this website in March, a huge 97 per cent of readers voted in favour of abolishing the cars, which critics have branded “over-zealous” and “unreasonable”.
The ban forms part of a raft of announcements from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) aimed at protecting struggling high streets.
Parking officers are now to carry out all essential enforcement. CCTV, in cars or static, will only be permitted on critical routes such as near schools and in bus lanes.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: “CCTV spy cars can be seen lurking on every street raking in cash for greedy councils and breaking the rules that clearly state that fines should not be used to generate profit for town halls.
“Over-zealous parking enforcement and unreasonable stealth fines by post undermine the high street, push up the cost of living and cost local authorities more in the long term.”
Figures published by anti-surveillance campaign group Big Brother Watch show that Redbridge Council, in five years, raised more than £5million from penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued as a result of CCTV enforcement.
Earlier this year, 83-year-old Poppy Baker criticised the Town Hall after she was fined for stopping on the side of the road to check her husband’s wheelchair was secure.
Redbridge Council has been contacted for comment.