Traders in Willesden and Harlesden launch fight to stop CCTV cameras killing business
PUBLISHED: 14:16 17 March 2014 | UPDATED: 14:35 17 March 2014
Copyright: Mr. Jan Nevill
Traders in Harlesden and Willesden have launched a petition to stop crime prevention cameras by being used to issue their customers with parking tickets.
Business owners in Willesden High Road and Park Parade, claim trade is being driven away by the measures introduced by Brent Council.
They claim customers who have received parking fines through their letterboxes after shopping in the area are failing to return.
John Paraskevas, who owns a hairdressers in Park Parade for more than 30 years claims the cameras are crippling local businesses.
He said: “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.”
Paulo Silver, who workers at a neighbouring restaurant told the Times the cameras as well as the narrow road layout, is stopping people from popping in.
He added: “I am more worried about my suppliers. If someone stops for a second to say hello, that is long enough for them to get a ticket.”
Tony Antoniou MBE, who chairs Traders Association Willesden Green and owns Hairways on the Willesden High Road, claims that traders agreed with the erection of the cameras back in the late 1980s, solely to be used for crime prevention purposes.
He added: “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.”
Andrew Clarke, the council’s senior contracts operations manager said the cameras are there primarily for crime prevention but are also used to ensure traffic moves freely and help improve road safety.
He added: “If motorists observe the very clearly marked parking restrictions, they won’t get a Penalty Charge Notice. Anyone who feels they have been issued a PCN incorrectly can appeal.
“The council will consider any petition by traders about this issue very carefully.”