CCTV Controversy Refuses To Abate

Question mark over legality of PCNs issued using Turnham Green Terrace Camera

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Controversy surrounding the CCTV camera situated on Turnham Green Terrace’s railway bridge continues as the legality of PCNs issued from images captured by the camera is queried.

The question mark hangs over the advertising of the fact that the camera is being used to enforce parking regulations as opposed to it operating as a community safety measure.

The sign on the camera’s pole - which we understand was erected after the camera began operating - reads 'Hounslow CCTV Combating Crime Theft Vandalism 24hr monitoring is being carried out in this area by Street Management & Public Protection Dept. For further information contact 020 8583 5555.'

However, there is no notice in the immediate vicinity of the camera stating that it is being used for parking enforcement.

Indeed when the council first advertised the new CCTV system in their monthly HM Magazine (delivered only households in Hounslow Borough) in November 2006, it was billed as a community safety measure.

This fact has already led motorists in Brentford to accuse council parking officials of ‘lying’. One resident even scoured back issues of HM Magazine looking for such a notice but could only find an announcement for ‘Community CCTV’.

London Council’s Code of Practice regarding warning signs 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".

We asked Hounslow’s Head of Parking for comment and received a response which stated that "The introduction of all CCTV camera enforcement was advertised in Hounslow Matters magazine."

Considering that Hounslow Matters is not received by Chiswick residents who live in Ealing Borough and frequently by residents who live in blocks of flats, this could be viewed as inadequate.

However the scheme was advertised, controversy surrounding Chiswick's burgeoning collection of CCTV cameras looks set to continue.

December 7, 2007