Wirral's spy car parking fines 'are legal'

Wirral Globe: Spy car parking fines 'are legal' Spy car parking fines 'are legal'

WIRRAL drivers hoping for a fines refund after a council's "spy car" equipment was found to be incorrectly certified are in for disappointment.

Thousands of tickets issued by Richmond Council in south London could be ruled invalid after council bosses used the "wrong sort of camera."

Their CCTV Smart car cameras had not been declared an "approved device" by the Department of Transport. The surveillance cars have since been taken off the streets and Richmond Council indicated affected drivers could be due refunds.

But it has been confirmed to the Globe that Wirral Council's own controversial spy car has all its paperwork in order.

A town hall spokeswoman said: “Wirral Council applied for and received the relevant 'Certification of Approved Devices' from the Home Office in February, 2009.

"This certification allows us to undertake parking enforcement via the approved device (camera car) throughout Wirral.”

Last year a watchdog group claimed the car, which uses a 12ft-retractable periscope-style camera, helped the council raise more than £88,000 from parking fines.

Research by Big Brother Watch - a campaign group fighting intrusions on privacy and freedom - showed that £88,350 was raised through issuing fixed penalty notices and £3,078 from fines for parking contraventions in the borough.

But by law, the authority cannot make any money from parking enforcement and cash from fines is ploughed back into road safety measures.

The vehicle is operated by private parking contractor NCL.

Comments (6)

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5:56pm Fri 6 May 11

PaulCa says...

If there ever was an enemy within, it's these, their inventors, their apologists and the people driving and maintaining them.
If there ever was an enemy within, it's these, their inventors, their apologists and the people driving and maintaining them. PaulCa
  • Score: 0

4:19am Sat 7 May 11

BarneyMcGrew says...

Park up paul! If you can't pay the fine, then don't do the crime etc.
Park up paul! If you can't pay the fine, then don't do the crime etc. BarneyMcGrew
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Mon 9 May 11

B Daly says...

Will someone please have an accident with this monstrosity after all it is insured and would be off the road for many months if my insurers have anything to say about it.
Will someone please have an accident with this monstrosity after all it is insured and would be off the road for many months if my insurers have anything to say about it. B Daly
  • Score: 0

11:35pm Mon 9 May 11

spamfiend says...

I don't think that this car will solve anything. I for one would like to see a stricter application process for blue badge holders as for me, they cause more nuisance than needed.
As someone who works in Birkenhead, and is dependant on the loading bays at the back of Milton Pavement for daily work, the blue badge holders constantly park across my loading bays and also across my fire door access. When I ask them not to park there they say 'blue badge, I can park where I want'.
Now before anyone starts having a go at blue badge holders, not all of them are like this. Many of the people I spoke to are happy to move on, but it is the ones in cars that i am sorry, should not be driven by certain people (for example, the young girl in the 11 plate Astra last week, who did not have any need for the badge, and probably wasn't hers in the first place.
Let us maybe look at getting proper parking areas, lose some of these stupid pay and display bays that have cropped up everywhere in town, and maybe the parking issue may alleviate somewhat..
I don't think that this car will solve anything. I for one would like to see a stricter application process for blue badge holders as for me, they cause more nuisance than needed. As someone who works in Birkenhead, and is dependant on the loading bays at the back of Milton Pavement for daily work, the blue badge holders constantly park across my loading bays and also across my fire door access. When I ask them not to park there they say 'blue badge, I can park where I want'. Now before anyone starts having a go at blue badge holders, not all of them are like this. Many of the people I spoke to are happy to move on, but it is the ones in cars that i am sorry, should not be driven by certain people (for example, the young girl in the 11 plate Astra last week, who did not have any need for the badge, and probably wasn't hers in the first place. Let us maybe look at getting proper parking areas, lose some of these stupid pay and display bays that have cropped up everywhere in town, and maybe the parking issue may alleviate somewhat.. spamfiend
  • Score: 0

11:39am Fri 13 May 11

statictom says...

Why is it that the drivers of these so called smart cars are allowed to commit offences (ie. parking on yellow lines) in order to catch other motorists, doing to same offences. The original spy car had to be removed from the road and have all its windows changed because they were illegal (ie. too black). This happened when someone complained about not being able to see inside the car.
Why is it that the drivers of these so called smart cars are allowed to commit offences (ie. parking on yellow lines) in order to catch other motorists, doing to same offences. The original spy car had to be removed from the road and have all its windows changed because they were illegal (ie. too black). This happened when someone complained about not being able to see inside the car. statictom
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Fri 13 May 11

rover600 says...

statictom wrote:
Why is it that the drivers of these so called smart cars are allowed to commit offences (ie. parking on yellow lines) in order to catch other motorists, doing to same offences. The original spy car had to be removed from the road and have all its windows changed because they were illegal (ie. too black). This happened when someone complained about not being able to see inside the car.
Whether the council accept it or not the highway code clearly does not make exceptions for parking on double yellow lines or for any 'official vehicle' to break motoring laws including going through red lights. As usual beaurocratic organisations rely on the ignorance of its victims in not challenging their policies. When this is done such as in the issuing of parking tickets when taken to appeal the volume that are cancelled on challenge is exceedingly high.
I don't object to the vehicle or its operation, in fact outside of schools etc I applaud its use BUT only if as an attempted deterrent and it is clearly visible.
I would encourage any reader who gets a ticket off one of these (especially if the vehicle was on doublbe yellows) to challenge the validity, the issue on the certification too, just because the council says they are right does not make them so as we read all too often in the globe.
[quote][p][bold]statictom[/bold] wrote: Why is it that the drivers of these so called smart cars are allowed to commit offences (ie. parking on yellow lines) in order to catch other motorists, doing to same offences. The original spy car had to be removed from the road and have all its windows changed because they were illegal (ie. too black). This happened when someone complained about not being able to see inside the car.[/p][/quote]Whether the council accept it or not the highway code clearly does not make exceptions for parking on double yellow lines or for any 'official vehicle' to break motoring laws including going through red lights. As usual beaurocratic organisations rely on the ignorance of its victims in not challenging their policies. When this is done such as in the issuing of parking tickets when taken to appeal the volume that are cancelled on challenge is exceedingly high. I don't object to the vehicle or its operation, in fact outside of schools etc I applaud its use BUT only if as an attempted deterrent and it is clearly visible. I would encourage any reader who gets a ticket off one of these (especially if the vehicle was on doublbe yellows) to challenge the validity, the issue on the certification too, just because the council says they are right does not make them so as we read all too often in the globe. rover600
  • Score: 0

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