|Ealing Motorists Have Paid £24 Million in Fines|
CCTV revenue over last five years revealed
Ealing's raised over £24 million pounds in the last five years in parking and traffic fines making it one of the top five highest revenue-raising councils in London.
The figures were obtained under the Freedom Of Information Act, by the group Big Brother Watch(pdf) who revealed that between 2008-2013 councils across the UK raised more than £300m.
They say the number of CCTV cars in operation has soared by 87% since 2009, despite a new code of practice saying CCTV should be used only sparingly for traffic offences.
Ealing came second only to Camden in London and from March 1 2008 - March 1 2013 raised £24,119,590.00 from using static CCTV or camera cars.
Conservative MP Nick de Bois wrote: ''I welcome this research by Big Brother Watch, which highlights that despite this guidance and additional oversight, local authorities are continuing to use CCTV cameras for means other than public safety.
'' This research highlights the £312m in revenue that has been raised by local authorities across the country by issuing fixed penalty notices, making it clear that many hard-pressed drivers are unfairly being hit with arbitrary fines.
''It is important that the public can have faith that CCTV is being used only in those situations where public safety is at risk and there are no less intrusive alternative routes of investigation. That is why it is important to scrutinise when local authorities are using CCTV cameras without it being necessary and proportionate, and I welcome Big Brother Watch’s continuing scrutiny and challenge in the use of surveillance tools.''
The top five highest revenue-raising councils were Camden, Ealing, Lambeth, Westminster and Harrow.
An Ealing Council spokesperson said:'' Over the last three years the number of parking and traffic penalties being issued has reduced significantly as has the number of tickets being challenged. Any surplus money generated from parking and traffic enforcement is spent on transport projects in the borough, and makes a significant contribution towards funding the Freedom Pass free travel scheme for older and disabled residents.
"Ealing is the third largest borough in London with 332 miles of roads. It's therefore crucial to keep traffic flowing safely and smoothly by using parking enforcement where appropriate."
15th April 2014