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LGA opposition to CCTV parking fine ban is about money, not public safety

camerasAt the end of 2013, we wrote about the Government’s plans to ban CCTV parking cameras, meaning that only traffic wardens and police would be able to film vehicles breaking the law.

The Department for Transport and the Department for Communities and Local Government launched a consultation asking whether CCTV parking cameras should be banned, in reaction to many councils who, rather than focusing on specific parking infringements, have taken the brazen approach of using CCTV cars to indiscriminately spy on drivers.

This of course has not gone down well with the Local Government Association (LGA), who have announced that they oppose the Governments plans, saying that the ban will do little to reduce the number of tickets given to drivers breaking the law but would put schoolchildren at risk and worsen road safety. What is clear is that the LGA has stood back and said nothing whilst councils have stung motorists for more than £300 million in fines, highlighting that this is about money rather than safety.

All too often councils using CCTV to hand out fines to drives have made vague assertions about more surveillance keeping children safe from danger whilst not taking any proactive steps to provide proper facilities for well-meaning drivers dropping their children off at school. Extra surveillance does not stop accidents from happening and if schools have assessed a specific area as being of higher risk to children’s’ safety, then police, traffic wardens or crossing patrols can be dispatched who can actually tackle the problem head on.

If the LGA are determined that the cameras are merely being used to keep school children safe, then we call on them to tell the public what proportion of the tickets issued last year were outside schools, or are they too scared to tell the public the truth?

Ultimately, CCTV is never going to solve the fundamental problem of there not being enough parking spaces, and using cameras to catch out people who fall fowl of parking restrictions completely undermines public trust in the surveillance they have been told to accept to protect their own safety, not to fill council coffers and justify expensive CCTV systems.

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in CCTV, Civil Liberties, Community Safety Accreditation Scheme, Councils, Surveillance

5 Responses to LGA opposition to CCTV parking fine ban is about money, not public safety

  1. Raj Sandhu

    I would not say that CCTV is never going to solve the problem of enough parking spaces or that extra surveillance does not stop accidents from happening. There is software based technology that works with the CCTV to analyse the frames of the video and coupled with other data it can be preventative. It wont be long before that CCTV will be accessible over a smart phone to aid with finding a parking space and also alerting about where not to park.
    The system is not perfect now but these problems are the pre cursor to the solution, as with a lot of tech advancements.

  2. P Moore

    As a London delivery driver, I run the risk of CCTV fines on a daily basis. And I have to pay my own fines, my company won’t. My piss is currently at 99℃!

  3. Free Proofread

    Fall fowl!

    Honestly, I will write up press releases for nothing – I just want the experience on my CV.

  4. Patsie Jarman

    PLEASE MAY I MAKE YOU AWARE OF MY GOVERNMENT PETITION BANNING AUTOMATIC NUMBER-PLATE RECOGNITION SYSTEMS IN NHS HOSPITAL CAR PARKS & ASK YOU TO CONSIDER SIGNING IT, THEN PASS IT ON TO YOUR COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS TO ENSURE THAT NHS HOSPITAL PATIENTS & VISITORS DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER THIS NUISANCE

    Many NHS Hospital car parks have, or are about to, adopt this car parking system which cost nothing to install; the hospitals keep the money from the pay-machines, and the contractor keeps the ‘fines’, so it is in the contractors’ interest not to maintain the machines, or cover them, and say no payment has been made, when there has been no opportunity to make a cash payment – please help to put an end to these cowboys by signing this petition.

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/61854

    “Ban ANPR [automatic number plate recognition systems] in NHS car parks – When people visit hospitals they usually do so for treatment; for appointments; or visiting family and friends. Confidentiality and privacy should always be paramount on hospital premises, especially if a person is there for a sensitive reason, and does not want their privacy invaded by the contractors who operate these camera systems – the ‘get a ticket at the barrier’, and pay when ready to leave is a fairer system, then only payment for the exact amount of time is used. Many of these camera systems expect a person to remember the time of arrival, and leave, when they are often in a stressed situation, resulting in over-payment, or heavy ‘fines’.”

    Thank you, and kind regards from Patsie Jarman

  5. Stephen Morris

    City Of Westminster has a scheme with local schools that allows them to issue 10 minute parking permits to parents for their cars. This allows them to park on double yellow lines and single lines for the purpose of dropping off children outside school.
    This makes complete nonsense that they are concerned with safety. They just do not want to annoy too many people first thing in the morning.

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