Council Bows To CCTV Complainants

Use of parking enforcement cameras suspended in west of borough

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Complaints from drivers prompted Hounslow Council to switch off CCTV cameras in some part of the borough.

The parking enforcement cameras were introduced earlier this year as part of the Council's CCTV rollout across the borough. However, following a number of complaints the new Labour administration suspended their use while an investigation takes place into whether residents were given sufficient warning of the cameras' existence.

Questions over the Council's CCTV signage arose in 2007 when motorists queried the legality of parking tickets issued by the CCTV camera situated on the bridge next to Turnham Green tube station.

When first installed, the signage read 'Hounslow CCTV Combating Crime Theft Vandalism 24hr monitoring is being carried out in this area by Street Management & Public Protection Dept. At the time, there was no notice in the immediate vicinity of the camera stating that it is being used for parking enforcement.

London Council’s Code of Practice regarding signage states: "Relevant camera enforcement signs should be displayed in areas where the system operates. The signs will not define the field of view of the cameras but will advise that CCTV camera enforcement is taking place in the area". asked Hounslow Council why complaints from drivers about CCTV in other parts of the Borough appeared to have had a greater effect than those from motorists in Chiswick.

A Council spokesman responded by stating, “The suspension was only for new cameras operational since March. These include some in Feltham, Hanworth and Bedfont, as well as Hounslow, Cranford and Syon.”

Lead Member for Community Safety and Enforcement Councillor Ed Mayne told, "The previous Conservative administration at Hounslow Council introduced parking enforcement CCTV cameras to the borough in 2007. The latest set of parking enforcement cameras went live after 1st March 2010 at sites in Bedfont, Brentford, Cranford, Feltham, Hanworth and Hounslow.

"The new Labour administration believes there was perhaps insufficient publicity before these cameras were implemented and therefore enforcement at the sites implemented since March this year was temporarily ceased on 15th June while the Council reviews CCTV parking enforcement, in particular the signage used to indicate CCTV enforcement of parking restrictions and restrictions relating to pavement parking.

"The Council Executive will discuss proposals to improve signange for parking enforcement cameras across the borough at its next meeting on 27th July. As things stand, the cameras that were switched off on 15th June will be restarted after new improved signage has been installed at these sites."

July 20, 2010