Councils rake in millions from CCTV

Councils rake in millions from CCTV

Local authorities across the UK have issued £312 million worth of parking and traffic fines as a result of CCTV monitoring, according to figures released by Big Brother Watch.

The civil liberties group gained the information through Freedom of Information requests into the total number of Fixed Penalty Notices issued for traffic offensive captured on static CCTV and CCTV cars.

Static CCTV cameras are being used in at least 36 local authorities to capture traffic offences and 58 councils are using CCTV cars, Big Brother Watch found.

Since 2009 the number of councils using CCTV cars has risen by 87%.

"CCTV should only ever be used in exceptional circumstances, and therefore I agree with the Government that local authority use of CCTV for parking enforcement should be banned," Conservative MP Nick de Bois wrote in the report's forward.

Around 90% of revenue generated through CCTV cameras comes from London boroughs, according to Big Brother Watch. Camden, Ealing, Lambeth, Westminster and Harrow bring in the biggest chunk of revenue from the use of CCTV cameras, the report said.

Big Brother Watch highlighted the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, published by the Government, which said that CCTV needs to be used "sparingly" for traffic offences.

The report also suggests that some tickets issued by traffic wardens working out of a CCTV control room may in fact be illegal, with legal processes required under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act for direct surveillance not being correctly followed.

Copyright Press Association 2014