Recorder readers call for Redbridge “spy” cars to be scrapped

Poppy Baker and her husband Charles are upset after they were given a parking ticket fine.

Poppy Baker and her husband Charles are upset after they were given a parking ticket fine. - Credit: Archant

More than 1,000 Recorder readers think Redbridge Council’s fleet of CCTV “spy cars” should be scrapped.

An overwhelming 97 per cent of readers who responded to our online poll want to see the back of the cars and motorbikes mounted with cameras which drive around the borough catching residents who park illegally.

The government reiterated its intention on doing away with the vehicles as a public consultation closed earlier this month.

Just three per cent of the 1,097 people who voted thought the dreaded cameras should be kept.

The council raked in a staggering £1.4million in 2012/13 from CCTV enforcement fines, which includes CCTV cars.

Mark Triphook, commenting on the poll on our website, said: “Redbridge is clearly using these CCTV cars as a way to rip off the public.”

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said last year 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.

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Poppy Baker, 83, of Atherton Road, Clayhall, fell victim to one of the cars last month, when she was fined for briefly stopped on a yellow line to check her boot, containing her husband’s wheelchair, wasn’t open.

She was invited by the council to Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, on Friday, to view video footage of the incident.

Mrs Baker said: “It was very frustrating and a complete waste of time, but I knew it would be.

“I couldn’t get involved in any sort of conversation.

“I wrote to them when I got home but I doubt it will do any good.”

A council spokesman, who said the cars “protect the safety of pedestrians and motorists, and help the free movement of traffic”, added that the meeting with Mrs Baker was not an opportunity for her to appeal the ticket.

He said: “We are disappointed Mrs Baker does not feel the meeting was worthwhile.

“In the meeting she had the chance to view the footage. It was aa opportunity for her to see why the ticket was issued and why there was not satisfactory evidence for us to uphold her appeal.”

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