‘Spy car’ on way to Blackburn despite warnings

Minister talks of public view of  CCTV as ‘cash-cows’

Minister talks of public view of CCTV as ‘cash-cows’

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

PLANS to bring a ‘spy car’ into Blackburn with Darwen to tackle dangerous parking are on track despite the latest expression of ministerial concern.

The council wants to introduce the £50,000 vehicle with a CCTV camera attached to its roof.

The car would use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to identify the owner of vehicles breaking traffic laws and then issue fines of up to £70 direct to their home.

The borough, which has an application with transport ministers for the necessary powers, denies it wants the car to raise cash.

This week Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill said that using CCTV for routine parking enforcement was ‘not acceptable’, warning of a ‘deeply rooted’ public perception of councils which used such cameras as a cash-cow.

He said their use should be limited to around schools, at bus stops and on red ‘no stop’ routes.

Borough regeneration boss Maureen Bateson is confident the council’s proposals for the spy car were in line with government policy.

She said: “People have approached me and other councillors time and time again to say one of their biggest concerns is bad and inconsiderate parking especially near schools. We are keen to explore different ways of solving these problems so we are applying to the Department of Transport for some new and additional powers.

“It’s the start of the process and we are keen to get residents involved in these discussions.”

The new powers, CCTV and ANPR would focus on schools and public transport priority areas.

Headteachers have welcomed the move which is strongly opposed by campaign group Big Brother Watch.

A police spokesman said: “Any powers which can help alleviate traffic problems are welcomed.”

The county council has no plans to seek the ANPR authorisation.

Comments (24)

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12:12pm Mon 16 Jun 14

superdad1 says...

Money making machine catching the motorist again,
money should be spent catching the real criminals
Money making machine catching the motorist again, money should be spent catching the real criminals superdad1
  • Score: 19

12:36pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Benpupdog says...

I wonder if it will be checking along Whalley Range and that Bastwell areas.
I wonder if it will be checking along Whalley Range and that Bastwell areas. Benpupdog
  • Score: 60

12:45pm Mon 16 Jun 14

woolywords says...

Why can't this matter be dealt with using the current PCSO's, after all, it falls within their job description and we are all, already paying for them?
I'm sure that many, would sooner have a wagging finger warning from a PCSO that they know, than an anonymous, fixed penalty, from a spy-car.

In fact, what makes our Local Councillors think, that they know better than the vast majority of those, who make the effort to complain to Ministers of the State?

I'm sure that many more might be convinced that it wasn't a 'cash cow' for the council, if they used the same mechanism, to send out a warning letter, rather than an immediate penalty. A database of 'letters sent' has to be kept, so this could be combined with the decision to issue the penalty, couldn't it? After all, you just know, that they are going to do it again...
Go on, I dare you, to be different!
Why can't this matter be dealt with using the current PCSO's, after all, it falls within their job description and we are all, already paying for them? I'm sure that many, would sooner have a wagging finger warning from a PCSO that they know, than an anonymous, fixed penalty, from a spy-car. In fact, what makes our Local Councillors think, that they know better than the vast majority of those, who make the effort to complain to Ministers of the State? I'm sure that many more might be convinced that it wasn't a 'cash cow' for the council, if they used the same mechanism, to send out a warning letter, rather than an immediate penalty. A database of 'letters sent' has to be kept, so this could be combined with the decision to issue the penalty, couldn't it? After all, you just know, that they are going to do it again... Go on, I dare you, to be different! woolywords
  • Score: 6

12:49pm Mon 16 Jun 14

BlackburnBadger says...

Personally think it's a good idea, too many people in Blackburn simply park where they like. Why not make money on it, and if your one of the people that gets caught by it then don't park illegaly, pay your car tax, pay for insurance like everyone else and you wont have a problem.
Personally think it's a good idea, too many people in Blackburn simply park where they like. Why not make money on it, and if your one of the people that gets caught by it then don't park illegaly, pay your car tax, pay for insurance like everyone else and you wont have a problem. BlackburnBadger
  • Score: 43

1:02pm Mon 16 Jun 14

HarryBosch says...

Providing it is used as stated ie outside schools, at bus stops, pedestrian crossings and other places where it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to enforce blatant breaches of parking regulations, then it has my support.
Providing it is used as stated ie outside schools, at bus stops, pedestrian crossings and other places where it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to enforce blatant breaches of parking regulations, then it has my support. HarryBosch
  • Score: 35

1:42pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Excluded again says...

superdad1 wrote:
Money making machine catching the motorist again,
money should be spent catching the real criminals
The hot them where it hurts. Don't give them any money.

I have devised this creative, original and radical plan to avoid being fined by one of these 'spy cars'. Don't park illegally. Especially near schools.

Please feel free to share this plan with your family and friends. I guarantee it will work.
[quote][p][bold]superdad1[/bold] wrote: Money making machine catching the motorist again, money should be spent catching the real criminals[/p][/quote]The hot them where it hurts. Don't give them any money. I have devised this creative, original and radical plan to avoid being fined by one of these 'spy cars'. Don't park illegally. Especially near schools. Please feel free to share this plan with your family and friends. I guarantee it will work. Excluded again
  • Score: 31

3:01pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Rovers.1875 says...

Just park on Darwen St in town looking down past all of the kebab shops, guaranteed to hit the big money with all the taxis that park in the middle of the road
Just park on Darwen St in town looking down past all of the kebab shops, guaranteed to hit the big money with all the taxis that park in the middle of the road Rovers.1875
  • Score: 26

4:26pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Cyprusblue says...

I wonder if it will be checking along Whalley Range and that Bastwell areas.

Absolutely no chance. It's a park where the hell you want poicy round there. The council wouldn't want to upset the locals.
I wonder if it will be checking along Whalley Range and that Bastwell areas. Absolutely no chance. It's a park where the hell you want poicy round there. The council wouldn't want to upset the locals. Cyprusblue
  • Score: 25

5:45pm Mon 16 Jun 14

BRFC195 says...

Money would be best spent offering free parking to get people into the town! The council have totally wrecked the town drove our nightlife away ,made the town non access able and looks like total building site !
Money would be best spent offering free parking to get people into the town! The council have totally wrecked the town drove our nightlife away ,made the town non access able and looks like total building site ! BRFC195
  • Score: 9

6:33pm Mon 16 Jun 14

shanbrurik says...

Traffic laws want tightening and acting on by whatever means possible.l have reported an unlicenced car(6mths overdue) FOUR TIMES to DVLA, twice to police and twice to local councillors.Result.!
!! ZILCH.This particular car is used daily in and around Accy, so take care......if it hits you, probably not insured either.
Traffic laws want tightening and acting on by whatever means possible.l have reported an unlicenced car(6mths overdue) FOUR TIMES to DVLA, twice to police and twice to local councillors.Result.! !! ZILCH.This particular car is used daily in and around Accy, so take care......if it hits you, probably not insured either. shanbrurik
  • Score: 13

6:33pm Mon 16 Jun 14

shanbrurik says...

Traffic laws want tightening and acting on by whatever means possible.l have reported an unlicenced car(6mths overdue) FOUR TIMES to DVLA, twice to police and twice to local councillors.Result.!
!! ZILCH.This particular car is used daily in and around Accy, so take care......if it hits you, probably not insured either.
Traffic laws want tightening and acting on by whatever means possible.l have reported an unlicenced car(6mths overdue) FOUR TIMES to DVLA, twice to police and twice to local councillors.Result.! !! ZILCH.This particular car is used daily in and around Accy, so take care......if it hits you, probably not insured either. shanbrurik
  • Score: 10

7:13pm Mon 16 Jun 14

boynesider says...

brilliant idea,wish they would use it in Haslingden.as the police aren't interested and neither are the community enforcement officers.over 12 months I have checked reported at least 10 untaxed cars on 2 streets in the town.i shouldn't have to do this but when the powers that be cant be bothered.as for Police And Community Trust schemes ,an unfunny joke
brilliant idea,wish they would use it in Haslingden.as the police aren't interested and neither are the community enforcement officers.over 12 months I have checked reported at least 10 untaxed cars on 2 streets in the town.i shouldn't have to do this but when the powers that be cant be bothered.as for Police And Community Trust schemes ,an unfunny joke boynesider
  • Score: 10

8:25pm Mon 16 Jun 14

iasiah fartwell says...

shanbruik you are wrong they dont use that car or any other car like this in accy, the one in the photo is from bolton
shanbruik you are wrong they dont use that car or any other car like this in accy, the one in the photo is from bolton iasiah fartwell
  • Score: -1

11:27pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Steven11 says...

Benpupdog wrote:
I wonder if it will be checking along Whalley Range and that Bastwell areas.
If it does that it will not have time to check the school runs , it will probably run out of film. !
[quote][p][bold]Benpupdog[/bold] wrote: I wonder if it will be checking along Whalley Range and that Bastwell areas.[/p][/quote]If it does that it will not have time to check the school runs , it will probably run out of film. ! Steven11
  • Score: 6

11:35pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Steven11 says...

HarryBosch wrote:
Providing it is used as stated ie outside schools, at bus stops, pedestrian crossings and other places where it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to enforce blatant breaches of parking regulations, then it has my support.
Why not use it with any illegal parking , or will we get the usual it's because im black innit man. !
[quote][p][bold]HarryBosch[/bold] wrote: Providing it is used as stated ie outside schools, at bus stops, pedestrian crossings and other places where it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to enforce blatant breaches of parking regulations, then it has my support.[/p][/quote]Why not use it with any illegal parking , or will we get the usual it's because im black innit man. ! Steven11
  • Score: 3

11:52pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Steven11 says...

iasiah fartwell wrote:
shanbruik you are wrong they dont use that car or any other car like this in accy, the one in the photo is from bolton
And your point is exactually !
[quote][p][bold]iasiah fartwell[/bold] wrote: shanbruik you are wrong they dont use that car or any other car like this in accy, the one in the photo is from bolton[/p][/quote]And your point is exactually ! Steven11
  • Score: -1

11:52pm Mon 16 Jun 14

shanbrurik says...

iasiah fartwell wrote:
shanbruik you are wrong they dont use that car or any other car like this in accy, the one in the photo is from bolton
Dear fartwell, should have gone to specsavers, I did not say That or any car was used in accy. I was talking about all traffic law and the fact that there should be a general clampdown on all traffic law..l also don't give a **** where THAT car came from.
[quote][p][bold]iasiah fartwell[/bold] wrote: shanbruik you are wrong they dont use that car or any other car like this in accy, the one in the photo is from bolton[/p][/quote]Dear fartwell, should have gone to specsavers, I did not say That or any car was used in accy. I was talking about all traffic law and the fact that there should be a general clampdown on all traffic law..l also don't give a **** where THAT car came from. shanbrurik
  • Score: 7

11:52pm Mon 16 Jun 14

shanbrurik says...

iasiah fartwell wrote:
shanbruik you are wrong they dont use that car or any other car like this in accy, the one in the photo is from bolton
Dear fartwell, should have gone to specsavers, I did not say That or any car was used in accy. I was talking about all traffic law and the fact that there should be a general clampdown on all traffic law..l also don't give a **** where THAT car came from.
[quote][p][bold]iasiah fartwell[/bold] wrote: shanbruik you are wrong they dont use that car or any other car like this in accy, the one in the photo is from bolton[/p][/quote]Dear fartwell, should have gone to specsavers, I did not say That or any car was used in accy. I was talking about all traffic law and the fact that there should be a general clampdown on all traffic law..l also don't give a **** where THAT car came from. shanbrurik
  • Score: 6

10:51am Tue 17 Jun 14

HarryBosch says...

Steven11 wrote:
HarryBosch wrote:
Providing it is used as stated ie outside schools, at bus stops, pedestrian crossings and other places where it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to enforce blatant breaches of parking regulations, then it has my support.
Why not use it with any illegal parking , or will we get the usual it's because im black innit man. !
Because it's under those auspices that they want to introduce it to BwD. If they deviate from the original script then before we know were we are they will be developing the same tyrannical regime as Bolton. A photograph is a snapshot in time and doesn't tell the full picture. We've had cars ticketed for driving in bus lanes when in actual fact they have merely pulled in to allow emergency vehicles past. It may be a driver dropping off a disabled person on a yellow line - no Lee way! A delivery driver dropping off one item for 2 minutes - no Lee way. No, stick to the script.
[quote][p][bold]Steven11[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]HarryBosch[/bold] wrote: Providing it is used as stated ie outside schools, at bus stops, pedestrian crossings and other places where it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to enforce blatant breaches of parking regulations, then it has my support.[/p][/quote]Why not use it with any illegal parking , or will we get the usual it's because im black innit man. ![/p][/quote]Because it's under those auspices that they want to introduce it to BwD. If they deviate from the original script then before we know were we are they will be developing the same tyrannical regime as Bolton. A photograph is a snapshot in time and doesn't tell the full picture. We've had cars ticketed for driving in bus lanes when in actual fact they have merely pulled in to allow emergency vehicles past. It may be a driver dropping off a disabled person on a yellow line - no Lee way! A delivery driver dropping off one item for 2 minutes - no Lee way. No, stick to the script. HarryBosch
  • Score: 2

12:39pm Tue 17 Jun 14

tonyisace says...

hope it comes to highercroft area were ot takes twenty five minutes to get from manxman rd to peel close at school times with all the parents dropping their children of at the nuserie and infant school
hope it comes to highercroft area were ot takes twenty five minutes to get from manxman rd to peel close at school times with all the parents dropping their children of at the nuserie and infant school tonyisace
  • Score: 4

5:57pm Tue 17 Jun 14

srd275 says...

Read more on the Traffic Scamera scam:

www.abd.org.uk
www.motorists.org
www.banthecams.org
camerafraud on Facebook
Read more on the Traffic Scamera scam: www.abd.org.uk www.motorists.org www.banthecams.org camerafraud on Facebook srd275
  • Score: -1

10:52pm Tue 17 Jun 14

John05 says...

I used to think that if you stayed within the rules you were safe from all enforcement measures designed to penalise those selfish enough to break them and do what they like. That used to be the case until recently. Nowadays traffic wardens and cameras are used by private companies contracted to local authorities, who's only concern is making money, not fairness or road safety or anything else noble and with a view to keeping society functioning smoothly.

My mother got a ticket on a car park in Blackburn when she paid and displayed because the traffic warden apparently didn't see the ticket on her dashboard. Two letters of appeal to the council were turned down and she had to have a meeting with an independent arbitrator at the Tickled Trout in Samlesbury to get it overturned, by which time she was out of pocket with lost time and postage and so on anyway.

She risked parking in the town centre a few weeks later and caught the same traffic warden trying to book her as she was buying a ticket. To have suddenly appeared in the few seconds it took her to walk to the machine he must have seen she was buying a ticket, he was just trying to get a parking ticket issued before she got back to her car with it.

It's naive to think these days that traffic enforcement is all about heroes catching out villains. It's all about people with money making targets bullying and exploiting people going about their business and trying to always do the right thing. Even the most conscientious and law abiding people are vulnerable.

I appreciate the need to crack down on issues such as parking on keep clear markings outside schools but, as has been pointed out, we have PCSOs for issues such as that which are important but police officers don't necessarily have time for. It gives a human touch with discretion used appropriately and only transgressors get caught. You can be sure that what you'll actually see is camera cars being driven dangerously and parked on double yellow lines and breaking every law under the sun while generating fines for other people's trivial or made up offences.
I used to think that if you stayed within the rules you were safe from all enforcement measures designed to penalise those selfish enough to break them and do what they like. That used to be the case until recently. Nowadays traffic wardens and cameras are used by private companies contracted to local authorities, who's only concern is making money, not fairness or road safety or anything else noble and with a view to keeping society functioning smoothly. My mother got a ticket on a car park in Blackburn when she paid and displayed because the traffic warden apparently didn't see the ticket on her dashboard. Two letters of appeal to the council were turned down and she had to have a meeting with an independent arbitrator at the Tickled Trout in Samlesbury to get it overturned, by which time she was out of pocket with lost time and postage and so on anyway. She risked parking in the town centre a few weeks later and caught the same traffic warden trying to book her as she was buying a ticket. To have suddenly appeared in the few seconds it took her to walk to the machine he must have seen she was buying a ticket, he was just trying to get a parking ticket issued before she got back to her car with it. It's naive to think these days that traffic enforcement is all about heroes catching out villains. It's all about people with money making targets bullying and exploiting people going about their business and trying to always do the right thing. Even the most conscientious and law abiding people are vulnerable. I appreciate the need to crack down on issues such as parking on keep clear markings outside schools but, as has been pointed out, we have PCSOs for issues such as that which are important but police officers don't necessarily have time for. It gives a human touch with discretion used appropriately and only transgressors get caught. You can be sure that what you'll actually see is camera cars being driven dangerously and parked on double yellow lines and breaking every law under the sun while generating fines for other people's trivial or made up offences. John05
  • Score: 2

11:06pm Tue 17 Jun 14

John05 says...

Excluded again wrote:
superdad1 wrote:
Money making machine catching the motorist again,
money should be spent catching the real criminals
The hot them where it hurts. Don't give them any money.

I have devised this creative, original and radical plan to avoid being fined by one of these 'spy cars'. Don't park illegally. Especially near schools.

Please feel free to share this plan with your family and friends. I guarantee it will work.
We tried it in Blackburn. The traffic warden didn't see the pay and display ticket on our dashboard. Two letters of appeal automatically rejected and it took a meeting with an independent arbitrator had to cancel the ticket after a meeting at the Tickled Trout. It took six months to have the ticket overturned.

Several weeks later the same traffic warden tried issuing a ticket as we were in the process of buying the pay and display ticket, deliberately trying to get the parking ticket issued as the car was left unattended for a couple of minutes before the pay and display ticket was purchased. Caught in the act before he succeeded.

Tried it in Burnley at Towneley Hall. Clock slow on the pay and display machine and the traffic warden worked on Dingle time. Booked me despite being still just within the time on the ticket and another lady who was within by 20 minutes.

A friend went to their Christmas fair just after they introduced the pay and display system, it used to be free parking. He said the traffic wardens were hiding while people parked without realising they had to pay. Then they booked them. Mainly elderly people. Why didn't they just tell people they had to pay and display if they wanted to ensure fairness?

I've seen other people booked for being a couple of minutes over their time when the clocks on the machines are slow or having a wheel on the line on the end of a row of spaces.

Despite your idealistic notions, always doing the right thing and sticking to the rules is no guarantee of not getting booked as the system isn't designed to ensure fairness, it's designed to catch people out and make money off them.
[quote][p][bold]Excluded again[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]superdad1[/bold] wrote: Money making machine catching the motorist again, money should be spent catching the real criminals[/p][/quote]The hot them where it hurts. Don't give them any money. I have devised this creative, original and radical plan to avoid being fined by one of these 'spy cars'. Don't park illegally. Especially near schools. Please feel free to share this plan with your family and friends. I guarantee it will work.[/p][/quote]We tried it in Blackburn. The traffic warden didn't see the pay and display ticket on our dashboard. Two letters of appeal automatically rejected and it took a meeting with an independent arbitrator had to cancel the ticket after a meeting at the Tickled Trout. It took six months to have the ticket overturned. Several weeks later the same traffic warden tried issuing a ticket as we were in the process of buying the pay and display ticket, deliberately trying to get the parking ticket issued as the car was left unattended for a couple of minutes before the pay and display ticket was purchased. Caught in the act before he succeeded. Tried it in Burnley at Towneley Hall. Clock slow on the pay and display machine and the traffic warden worked on Dingle time. Booked me despite being still just within the time on the ticket and another lady who was within by 20 minutes. A friend went to their Christmas fair just after they introduced the pay and display system, it used to be free parking. He said the traffic wardens were hiding while people parked without realising they had to pay. Then they booked them. Mainly elderly people. Why didn't they just tell people they had to pay and display if they wanted to ensure fairness? I've seen other people booked for being a couple of minutes over their time when the clocks on the machines are slow or having a wheel on the line on the end of a row of spaces. Despite your idealistic notions, always doing the right thing and sticking to the rules is no guarantee of not getting booked as the system isn't designed to ensure fairness, it's designed to catch people out and make money off them. John05
  • Score: 2

10:20am Sat 21 Jun 14

hunter3062 says...

All those camera's and they didn't see this coming.. Government to ban use of CCTV 'spy cars' to catch illegal parking
Councils will no longer be able to use CCTV 'spy cars' to catch drivers who park illegally, the Government announced today. All those camera's and they didn't see this coming..
All those camera's and they didn't see this coming.. Government to ban use of CCTV 'spy cars' to catch illegal parking Councils will no longer be able to use CCTV 'spy cars' to catch drivers who park illegally, the Government announced today. All those camera's and they didn't see this coming.. hunter3062
  • Score: 0

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