A camera car used by Plymouth City Council to "tackle illegal and dangerous parking" has been photographed parked on double yellow lines.
John Horton, a pawnbroker in Devon, took a picture of the white Vauxhall which was stationed outside a multi-storey car park on Mayflower Street with a camera mounted on a pole on its roof.
Following the incident, the local authority was criticised for breaching regulations it meant to enforce.
Mr Horton said he was "gobsmacked" when he saw the vehicle used to issue parking fines to others standing on double yellow lines.
But the council said in its defence that parking restrictions do not apply to enforcement vehicles under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
An official spokesman said the £70,000 car, being used by the council since September, was "parked legally".
"The vehicle cannot enter the car park as the camera is too high, so it was parked outside for a very short time," he said.
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