Medway's CCTV cars could be banned after local government secretary Eric Pickles outlined new government guidelines
Controversial spy cars used to impose thousands of fines on drivers in Medway could be banned under new government guidelines.
Local government secretary Eric Pickles has said he wants to "rein in over-zealous and unfair rules" being used by local authorities which use cameras to maximise their income from parking fines.
Mr Pickles warned public support for CCTV could be undermined if people believed they were being used to "raise money for council coffers" and not to tackle crime.
Medway Council's CCTV cars could be banned
A government consultation paper will suggest amending legislation underpinning the Traffic Management Act 2004 to outlaw the practice.
Among Mr Pickles' proposals are to ban car-mounted and static CCTV cameras and using only visible traffic wardens to film vehicles, stopping "unacceptable and aggressive parking fine collection practices" and reviewing "unnecessary" yellow lines.
Medway's own CCTV cars have attracted widespread opposition ever since they took to the roads in 2008 – with one angry driver even sneaking into the car's compound at night and clamping it in protest.
The two cars, which have cost £670,000 since they began, have fined more than 58,000 drivers breaking traffic laws, bringing in more than £1.7million.
Last year, the cars delivered 3,600 fines – a huge drop from two years ago when it caught 23,000 drivers.
Cllr Tristan Osborne (Lab) welcomed the news and called for Medway Council to scrap the cars before Christmas.
He said: "With the announcement today from Eric Pickles it surely can not be acceptable for the Medway Conservatives to continue to fleece residents of millions of pounds of money through the use of these 'white vulture' cars.
"The move by the government only reinforces the Medway Labour opposition view that has been consistently stated for years that these cars were acting like they were above the law and contrary to natural justice.
"I am calling on Cllr Rodney Chambers to scrap the cars before Christmas and give everyone an early Christmas present."
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