Author Topic: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them  (Read 2144 times)

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Offline Web Admin

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Another 20 councils launch 'cash cow' spy cars that film motorists breaking road laws AFTER they were told the government is planning to make them illegal


By Dan Bloom

Ministers say the 100-plus CCTV cars fleece motorists on 'industrial scale'
The cars automatically catch drivers breaking traffic rules as they pass
Eric Pickles vowed to outlaw them - but more keep hitting the streets
Councils with new spy cars include Manchester, eighth-biggest in Britain
The 'cash cow' fines were worth £30 million in the last year alone


Town hall chiefs are defying the government and launching CCTV spy cars even after they were told the 'cash cows' will be made illegal, MailOnline can reveal.

Local government secretary Eric Pickles has announced he will ban the controversial vehicles, which film people breaking traffic rules and send them fines of up to £130 in the post.

Yet since his pledge in September, 20 authorities - including one of the country's biggest, Manchester City Council - have either introduced a new spy car regime or have firm plans to do so.

Another 38 councils have had meetings about the controversial technology in the last year, and have yet to reveal if they will introduce it.

About a fifth of authorities in England and Wales now use CCTV cars despite complaints by motorists, ministers and civil liberties groups.

They handed drivers more than 340,000 fines worth at least £30 million in the last year.

Yet of the 2,500 drivers who appealed to an independent tribunal, almost half (44 per cent) won their cases.

Some 697 won outright while another 379 had their cases dropped by the council once they mounted a formal challenge.

Mr Pickles said: 'CCTV spy cars are just an excuse for councils to raise money from issuing parking fines on an industrial scale.

'They undermine natural justice, as car owners receive the fine weeks later in the post making it extremely hard to challenge on appeal. This is why the government has published proposals to ban CCTV being used for parking purposes.

'We are going to rein in the town hall parking bullies.'

MailOnline obtained the figures by sending Freedom of Information requests to 373 councils, of which 296 replied within the legal deadline.

We asked about CCTV car use between November 2012 and October this year, and asked if councils which did not run the technology had held meetings about it or made firm plans to introduce it.

Five authorities - Manchester City Council, Derby City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Slough Borough Council and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council – said they had already launched CCTV cars since Mr Pickles' landmark announcement on September 27.

Another 15 areas had made firm plans to do so, with many claiming they were inundated with requests for CCTV from the public.

Only one of the 15, Rushmoor Borough Council in Hampshire, said it was delaying introducing the cars until the government released firm guidance.

Cllr Kate Chappell, Manchester City Council’s cabinet member for the environment, defended the technology.

She said: 'Parents, teachers and children regularly tell us that illegal parking on roads outside schools is a major problem.

'Despite their efforts to urge people to park more responsibly, a minority of motorists still persist in putting the lives of school children at risk.

'These clearly marked cars have been introduced to improve road safety and protect children and while it is disappointing that Eric Pickles does not share this view, we would be more than happy to meet him and explain why we believe it is important to effectively manage parking outside schools.'

The National Association of Head Teachers also attacked Mr Pickles' pledge.

Policy adviser Sion Humphreys said: 'Parking outside schools can be a big problem. Many drivers take risks to avoid the rush such as ignoring the hatched areas outside or speeding.'

Cllr Peter Box, transport board chairman of the Local Government Association, added: 'CCTV cameras cars account for just two per cent of total council parking income.

'These figures also show that less than one per cent of motorists are appealing fines issued by CCTV enforcement and that when they have grounds for appeal the system works.

'The reality is that the average motorist is paying 30 times more to Whitehall in charges and taxation each year than they do to their town hall through parking.'

Among more than 60 councils which already run CCTV cars, the biggest earner was Bristol City Council - which handed out 27,719 fines worth almost £2 million.

Nick Pickles, director of the anti-CCTV pressure group Big Brother Watch, said many councils ignore strict rules which say CCTV cars must only be used where it is dangerous for a traffic warden to work.

He added: 'The huge numbers of tickets given out in error and later dropped highlights the risk to innocent people of these spy cars.

'When people see the multi-million pound enterprise CCTV cars have become they will rightly be asking if this is less about public safety and more about revenue raising.

'Equally, the high revenues highlight what a lousy deterrent CCTV is – even when it is a blindingly obvious spy car.

'Councils should be working to solve the underlying problems of congestion around schools and understand why so many children arrive by car.'

Just one council in Britain which could introduce CCTV cars has publicly ruled out doing so.

A spokesman for West Dorset District Council said it ran 'contrary to the spirit of fair[ness] and common sense of on-street traffic management.'

It emerged on December 15 that transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has tabled an investigation into CCTV cars with a view to banning them.

The government's changes will also extend the grace period before motorists receive a fine from five minutes to 15.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: 'We have recently published proposals to ban CCTV for parking.

'Subject to the consultation process, the Government will then amend legislation and associated statutory guidance to deliver on this pledge.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2525955/Revealed-Another-20-councils-launch-bullying-spy-cars-AFTER-told-government-planning-make-illegal.html


Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #1 on: 23 February, 2014, 04:54:57 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Mr Pickles said: 'CCTV spy cars are just an excuse for councils to raise money from issuing parking fines on an industrial scale.

'They undermine natural justice, as car owners receive the fine weeks later in the post making it extremely hard to challenge on appeal. This is why the government has published proposals to ban CCTV being used for parking purposes.

'We are going to rein in the town hall parking bullies.'
WE ARE WATCHING YOU

Offline Coco

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #2 on: 23 February, 2014, 05:24:51 PM »
Quote
[NAHT] Policy adviser Sion Humphreys said: 'Parking outside schools can be a big problem. Many drivers take risks to avoid the rush such as ignoring the hatched areas outside or speeding.'

I wonder where they dug guy this up from? If drivers aren't breaking the law by stopping on zigzag lines then they are speeding. And this guy is clearly too thick to appreciate that $camera cars can't enforce the latter offence.

Offline Ewan Hoosami

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #3 on: 23 February, 2014, 05:37:03 PM »
Just one council in Britain which could introduce CCTV cars has publicly ruled out doing so. A spokesman for West Dorset District Council said it ran 'contrary to the spirit of fair[ness] and common sense of on-street traffic management.'

Just one honest council. It just goes to show how corrupt local government has become. Future accident figures around West Dorset will be a good measure of how dangerous stationary vehicles actually are to school children.
Appealing to the council is like playing chess with a pigeon. You might be a chess grand master but the pigeon will always knock all the pieces over, shit on the board and then strut around triumphantly.

Offline Pat Pending

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #4 on: 23 February, 2014, 06:52:15 PM »
I am really surprised that Barnet are not amongst this list!
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Beer in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up,  totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a  ride!!"

Offline DastardlyDick

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #5 on: 23 February, 2014, 07:12:03 PM »
I can only think of two reasons for all these Authorities doing this:-

1. The Legislation proposed by Mr Pickles cannot (I believe) be applied retrospectivley, so if they sign Contracts NOW for, say, 5 years, then they've got 5 years to make money.

or

2. They have reason to believe that Mr Pickles isn't actually going to do anything regarding CCTV Enforcement.
« Last Edit: 23 February, 2014, 07:15:48 PM by DastardlyDick »

Offline Kill Switch

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #6 on: 23 February, 2014, 11:58:42 PM »
DD, I thought the same thing as in your piont 1, crafty bastards
A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice


Offline «THÖMÅS®©™»

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #7 on: 24 February, 2014, 08:07:16 AM »
There is a fact, we all know they are crafty bastards and don't care when you appeal.

They ignore it (even when you have legitimate reasons, such as broken down or flat tyre).  All they care about is the £'s they make illegally and without reason.

The councils should be banned from doing this full stop.  I feel that only the Police should enforce this as I am certain that the Police are much fairer when it comes to appeals, unlike the scum bag council goons lurking in the shadows not caring about someone's appeal.  The goons of the councils are bullies, and they will do whatever it takes to get thier free cash from us motorists.  Even resorting to bailiffs!  I have always said, if a bailiff or debt collector comes to my door, the first thing I will say is: "got a warrant"?  and if the answer is "No.", then I will first ask him/her to leave and if he/she refuses, call the police and have IT arrested for aggravated trespass.  Then I will file a lawsuit in the courts for harassment and intimidation for a whole bunch of money.  They do it to us, why not do it to them for a change "sticking it to the man", "give them a taste of thier own medicine" kind of thing.

I am saying that I pull no stops in my legal rights, ever!
It's not "enforcement", it's "extortionate"!

Offline Coco

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #8 on: 24 February, 2014, 10:39:57 AM »
. . . The Legislation proposed by Mr Pickles cannot (I believe) be applied retrospectivley, so if they sign Contracts NOW for, say, 5 years, then they've got 5 years to make money . . .

Not quite right DD. Whilst the legislation cannot be applied retrospectively it can be made to have an effect from a given date. Thus any change to the law could be made to take effect from, say 1 September 2014.  Irrespective the existence of a contract with a $car supplier, the Council would still be breaking the law.

Furthermore, the Council could also probably be called into account for behaving in a financially reckless manner by awarding a contract for an activity that is likely to become unlawful. 

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #9 on: 24 February, 2014, 12:16:15 PM »
According to a DCLG spokesperson quoted in the article - 'Subject to the consultation process, the Government will then amend legislation and associated statutory guidance to deliver on this pledge.'

From what I can see it would not be difficult to slightly amend the existing legislation to effectively outlaw the use of cctv for parking, and any such amendments could be brought in with immediate effect upon amendment. At the moment the BPA Ltd are making noises about there having to be primary legislation that would take years to bring in, but that is obviously garbage. They WISH that was the case, but I'm confident the government will carry through with their pledge.

Now that the consultation process is over and everyone has had their say, (including us who brought a great deal of factual information to the process to support the government's proposals), and given that not a single voice from the industry has provided any justification whatsoever as to why they should be allowed to flout statutory guidance, I can see no reason that government can't announce shortly that they will ban the use of cctv for parking as of 1st April 2014.

WE ARE WATCHING YOU

Offline DastardlyDick

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #10 on: 24 February, 2014, 04:23:37 PM »
. . . The Legislation proposed by Mr Pickles cannot (I believe) be applied retrospectivley, so if they sign Contracts NOW for, say, 5 years, then they've got 5 years to make money . . .

Not quite right DD. Whilst the legislation cannot be applied retrospectively it can be made to have an effect from a given date. Thus any change to the law could be made to take effect from, say 1 September 2014.  Irrespective the existence of a contract with a $car supplier, the Council would still be breaking the law.
Furthermore, the Council could also probably be called into account for behaving in a financially reckless manner by awarding a contract for an activity that is likely to become unlawful. 

Fair enough - it was just a thought  :)





Offline Ewan Hoosami

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #11 on: 24 February, 2014, 04:50:15 PM »
Furthermore, the Council could also probably be called into account for behaving in a financially reckless manner by awarding a contract for an activity that is likely to become unlawful.

Any subsequent compensation to the sub-weasels for loss of earnings could be paid out of the public purse and the council could wheel out the usual "Mistakes were made." or "Lessons have been learned."
Appealing to the council is like playing chess with a pigeon. You might be a chess grand master but the pigeon will always knock all the pieces over, shit on the board and then strut around triumphantly.

Offline DastardlyDick

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #12 on: 24 February, 2014, 05:18:07 PM »


 I feel that only the Police should enforce this as I am certain that the Police are much fairer when it comes to appeals, unlike the scum bag council goons lurking in the shadows not caring about someone's appeal. I have always said, if a bailiff or debt collector comes to my door, the first thing I will say is: "got a warrant"?  and if the answer is "No.", then I will first ask him/her to leave and if he/she refuses, call the police and have IT arrested for aggravated trespass.

A nice thought, but it'll never happen for a number of reasons:-

1. Parking was decriminalised in order to free up Police time - OK, it only takes a few minutes to write a ticket on the street, but then the Officer has to write a Statement in case it goes to Court, and possibly attend Court to give Evidence. Obviously both these things will take him/her off the Streets, which is not what either the Government or the Public want - they pay the Police to be out there on the Street, not sitting around in the nick doing paperwork.

2. The Police never handled the Appeals - they Enforce, and the Courts (usually the Magistrates Court for motoring matters) decide the Penalty. The other objective behind DPE was to free up the Magistrates time to deal with real criminals, albeit at the lower end of the scale of Offences. What the Police do have - unlike Council CEOs - is the right to use discretion not to issue a ticket in the first place.

3. The Police simply do not have the manpower for this anymore, and since most (if not all) Forces are currently subject to a Government imposed budget cuts, they cannot afford to recruit more to carry out additional duties.

I would be prepared to pay to see you giving a Bailiff the "Bums Rush", but I believe they have a "right of implied access" as far as your front door (as does the postman, milkman etc), so don't expect the Police to respond on 'Blues and Twos' to a call to Bailiffs at the door, far less make an Arrest.

You're not one of these "Freemen on the Land" by any chance?

Offline DastardlyDick

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Re: 20 councils introduce spycars AFTER government announce they will ban them
« Reply #13 on: 24 February, 2014, 05:22:00 PM »
Furthermore, the Council could also probably be called into account for behaving in a financially reckless manner by awarding a contract for an activity that is likely to become unlawful.

Any subsequent compensation to the sub-weasels for loss of earnings could be paid out of the public purse and the council could wheel out the usual "Mistakes were made." or "Lessons have been learned."

And we all want THAT added to our Council Tax bills - NOT!

 


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