Brent Council made £5.7m using CCTV cameras to ticket motorists

This CCTV camera in Willesden High Road is also being used to issue parking tickets (pic credit: Jan

This CCTV camera in Willesden High Road is also being used to issue parking tickets (pic credit: Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant

Brent Council has made £5.7million by using CCTV cameras to issue parking tickets to drivers in the borough, a report claims.

CCTV camera car caught parking on double yellow lines in Wembley

CCTV camera car caught parking on double yellow lines in Wembley - Credit: Archant

According to a dossier complied by Big Brother Watch, the town hall collected £5,717,852 between March 2008 and March last year.

The civil liberties and privacy pressure group obtained the figures using the Freedom of Information Act, but unlike some local authorities Brent did not specify which tickets were issued using mobile CCTV cars.

Last month traders in Harlesden and Willesden accused the council of driving business away by using crime prevention cameras to ticket their customers.

John Paraskevas, who owns a hairdressers in Park Parade, Harlesden, for more than 30 years: “It is stopping people from coming into our shops because they are scared to get a ticket.

“People who stop outside my shop just for a couple of minutes to book an appointment could find themselves having to pay a hefty parking fine.

“They wouldn’t want to come back.”

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The usage of mobile CCTV cameras in Brent has also raised eyebrows with some cars being photographed breaking their own rules to catch motorists.

Cars have bee captured parked on double yellow lines, disabled bays and even double parked outside a school.

Tony Antoniou MBE, who chairs Traders Association Willesden Green and owns Hairways on the Willesden High Road, has launched a petition calling for the use of crime prevention cameras to ticket cars to be stopped.

He said: “It is difficult for residents because there is no sign that says there are parking enforcement cameras in the area. The first time somebody will know about this is when someone gets a £65 fine through their letter box.

“Small businesses are suffering because people do not want to risk getting a ticket for popping into our shops just for a couple of minutes.”

MP Brandon Lewis, the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, also called for the method to be banned while speaking in Parliament last month.

Michael Read, Brent Council’s operational director for environment and protection, said: “Like most London councils, Brent uses CCTV cameras to help manage community and public safety. We also use them to manage traffic and to take enforcement action where it is difficult or impossible for Civil Enforcement Officers to intervene.

“The cameras help ensure our streets remain safe and free from obstruction - with any income generated going straight back into transport services.”

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