by Keyan Milanian
A CCTV camera car operator has been ticked off by his bosses after a driver whose car had broken down was given a parking ticket..
Brian Buultjens had broken down in Victoria Street, Gillingham, on July 8 when he was snapped by Medway Council’s controversial Smart car parking patrol.
The camera operator knew Mr Buultjens’ car had mechanical problems but gave him a ticket anyway.
Mr Buultjens, who has now received an apology from the council, said: “My gearbox went and I was positioned in such a way that it stopped all the buses and cars getting past. It was just as I was negotiating the bend when the car got stuck.
“He then pulled up in the Smart car and took his pictures. I ran up to him and said 'what are you doing, I’ve broken down’ and he just said 'sort it out with the council.’”
So when Mr Buultjens, an accountant from Littlebourne Avenue, Gillingham, had a penalty charge notice posted to him for £70 he wrote to the council to complain. At the end of July, he received a letter from the council explaining that the operator had been “advised as to his future conduct.”
The letter, from parking services, reads: “I was most distressed to read your letter and to hear that the operator of the CCTV car made no attempt to assist you in your predicament. I have interviewed the operator concerned and have, in fact, taken this opportunity to speak to all the CCTV crews about situations like this. He in particular has been advised that in future he should render what assistance he can to assist a member of the public in similar situations.
“The operators are not allowed to leave the CCTV car unattended, but in your situation it would have been in plain sight whilst he assisted you.
“He has been advised as to his future conduct and I would hope not to receive further letters of this type and that Medway residents could feel that assistance would be given by the CCTV operators should the need arise.”
Mr Buultjens said: “This is a nice story for the council and the public because it shows these people are human.”