Author Topic: Number of $cam cars operated by WCC  (Read 1893 times)

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Offline Boyo

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Number of $cam cars operated by WCC
« on: 21 February, 2013, 06:00:40 PM »
On Wastemonster's website, in the FAQ section on CCTV, it claims that they operate four CCTV Smart cars:

CCTV Vehicles
1. How many Smart Cars are there in the borough?
We currently have four Smart Cars.

2. What types of contraventions will the Smart Cars be enforcing?
The Smart Cars enforce single and double yellow line restrictions, bus lanes, box junctions and other moving traffic contraventions

3. Will the Smart Cars have to be parked legally?
The vehicles have Parking Identifier Boards which exempt parking on paid for parking places, resident bays, and single and double yellow lines. They may not park anywhere else and only obtain the exemption by means of carrying out a statutory function. The drivers have been properly trained and will park with the utmost care and attention to road safety and the highway code.

Under the section CCTV on their website, there's actually a picture of a Smart $car

I thought this was a bit odd, since they've been running Toyota iQs for the last couple of years and, as well we know, they've got more than four.
So, I used the standard Westminster Website contact email (as opposed to putting in a FOI) to enquire and got this response back today - although it did come back as an FOI. (see below)

   Customer Relations
Westminster Parking Services
PO Box 396
WA55 1EL

Strategic Director for City Management:
Leith Penny

This request is being dealt with by:                                                   
Andrew Daly

Date:  21 February 2013
Tel No: (020) 7641 1743
Fax no: (020) 7641 1744
My ref:  FOI/10130
Dear xxxxxxxx   

Freedom of Information Act 2000: Request for information   

Thank you for your request for information, which was received by Customer Relations on 29 January 2013.

You have requested the following information:

Your website lists the borough as currently using four CCTV Smart cars.  Could you tell me if this is correct?  In fact I have noticed that the borough seems to be using several Toyota IQ but no Smart cars and there seem to be more than four of these in operation.  Furthermore, I've noticed that some have more detection equipment on the roof than others. 

Could you please tell me what the different systems employed are and what the purpose of the multi camera vehicles are (as opposed to the vehicles with a single camera on a periscope).

In summary could you tell me:
1)   How many Smart cars are in operation?

2)   How many Toyota vehicles are in operation?

3)   Are any other vehicles used for mobile CCTV operation?
3)   How many vehicles have a single periscope camera?

4)   How many vehicles have multiple roof mounted cameras?

5)   What are the benefits and purpose of the multi camera vehicles over the single ones?"

In response to your request, I can advise as follows:

1)   There are no Smart cars in operation.  We have 4 CCTV cars in total, some or all of which may be deployed at any one time depending on requirements. These are Toyota IQs, which were selected for their low environmental impact. The phrase “Smart Cars”, although the model make is Mercedes, has become a generic term for all of these types of vehicles.
2)   There are 4 Toyota IQs (CCTV parking enforcement) cars with a single mast. 

3)   A further 5 Toyota IQs are ANPR vehicles, which have multiple roof-mounted cameras.

4)   We have a fleet of 8 ANPR vehicles, made up of the 5 Toyota IQs and 3 Vauxhall Combos, not all of which would be deployed at the same time, and these all have multiple roof-mounted cameras.

5)   The 8 vehicles, that are ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) vehicles, are are able to read number plates as they pass and identify vehicles that do not have a valid Permit to park in Resident Bays and those in Pay By Phone bays without a current payment on the system.  Over time, this allows NSL and WCC to create information about compliance levels in different areas, streets and time zones, to allocate resources to deal effectively with problem parking areas and to direct an on street CEO to the area in real time.

Assistance and Guidance:

Summary of vehicles:
CCTV car (single mast) – 4 x Toyota IQ
ANPR cars (multiple camera) – 5 x Toyota IQ, 3 x Vauxhall Combo

If you are not satisfied with this response please set out your reasons in writing and send to:

Customer Relations
PO Box 396
WA55 1EL
Phone: 0207 641 1743
Fax: 0207 641 1744

Hmm, interesting how they blur the distinction between ANPR and CCTV in counting vehicles - I guess 4 CCTV vehicles sounds a lot more palatable than 12!!
Also, despite assurances, I'm not sure about the generic term for these vehicles as "Smart" - I doubt if Mercedes or Daimler Benz (or whoever makes the bloody things!) would be too happy. Jeep, for example, are very protective over their branding when it comes to four wheel drives being generically termed Jeeps
« Last Edit: 21 February, 2013, 06:05:03 PM by Boyo »
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Offline Coco

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Re: Number of $cam cars operated by WCC
« Reply #1 on: 21 February, 2013, 08:43:11 PM »
I'm sure that there must be a joke of some sort to be wrung out of the "Smart" and "IQ" model names!  :bashy:


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