Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WESTMINSTER CCTV PARKING CAMERAS JUDGED TO BE ILLEGAL

WESTMINSTER CCTV PARKING CAMERAS JUDGED TO BE ILLEGAL

COUNCIL FACES CANCELLING THOUSANDS OF PARKING TICKETS AND REPAYING MILLIONS OF POUNDS OF ILLEGALLY COLLECTED FINES

From Barrie Segal - founder of AppealNow.com™

Councils face repaying millions of pounds of illegally collected fines
Parking ticket expert, Barrie Segal, the founder of the parking ticket websitewww.appealnow.com says, “Westminster Council will have to cancel tens of thousands of CCTV issued parking tickets after my landmark ruling by the Parking Adjudicator and in my view must stop using these cameras immediately. Furthermore the council also faces the prospect of repaying millions of pounds which they collected using these illegal cameras.”
In two far reaching decision for motorists the parking adjudicator has decided that Westminster Council’s CCTV parking cameras do not comply with the law.
The challenge was mounted by the UK’s leading parking ticket expert, Barrie Segal, who claimed that Westminster Council’s CCTV footage did not comply with the law as individual frames were not numbered sequentially as required by law.
After considering further evidence from Westminster Council and Barrie the parking adjudicator, Carl Teper decided in PATAS cases 211000697A and 2110013024  “ ... that the failure to sequentially number the captured images, by means of a visual counter, to be a procedural impropriety as so defined. .....The appeal is allowed”.
Barrie goes on to say, “The camera problems in these two cases apply to all the video footage that I have seen since Westminster started using their new cameras. These decisions and the evidence I have seen in several other cases I am conducting show that the CCTV cameras used by Westminster Council do not comply with the law and therefore paring tickets issued using them cannot be enforced.  Westminster Council should stop using those cameras immediately and cancel all parking tickets issued as a result of their use.  They should also refund all parking tickets paid by motorists who were caught by these cameras and believed the cameras were legal”



Notes
  1. The legislation relating to CCTV cameras for parking enforcement is contained in The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (Approved Devices) (England) Order 2007. Are
  2. The two cases PATAS cases 211000697A (James Field – v – Westminster City Council) and 2110013024  (William Sumner – v – Westminster City Council
  3. Under paragraph 2(c) of the Schedule to The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (Approved Devices) (England) Order 2007 it states “each frame of all captured images is timed (in hours, minutes and seconds), dated and sequentially numbered automatically by means of a visual counter
  4. Extract from Decisions “I am not satisfied that the authority has complied with the requirement in paragraph 2(c) of the Schedule to the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (Approved Devices) (England) Order 2007, that the recording device must include a recording system in which "each frame of all captured images is timed (in hours, minutes and seconds), dated and sequentially numbered automatically by means of a visual counter".

    Whilst each frame of the captured images are timed and dated, I find that they are not sequentially numbered automatically by means of a visual counter.

    In coming to this conclusion I have accepted the argument advanced by Mr Segal, in his written submissions, that the numbering of the visual counter is not sequentially numbered.

    Regulation 4(4) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 provides the grounds on which representations may be made against a Notice to Owner.

    Regulation 4(4)(f) states:

       'that there has been a procedural impropriety on the part of the enforcement authority'

    "Procedural impropriety" in this context means a failure by the enforcement authority to observe any requirement imposed by the Traffic Management Act 2004 or the General Regulations or Representations and Appeals Regulations. This includes, pursuant to Regulation 4(5)(a) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 the taking of any step, whether or not involving the service of any document, otherwise than in accordance with the conditions subject to which; or at the time or during the period when, it is authorised or required to be taken.

    I find that the failure to sequentially number the captured images, by means of a visual counter, to be a procedural impropriety as so defined.

    Regulation 7(2) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 provides that if the Adjudicator concludes that a ground specified in Regulation 4(4) above applies, "he shall allow the appeal". There is no discretion about this.

    The appeal is allowed.


FULL DECISION:
Case Reference: 211000697A
Appellant: Mr James John Field Authority:Westminster VRM:XXXX  PCN:XXXXXXContravention Date: 24 Nov 2010 Contravention Time:14:41Contravention Location: Brewer Street Penalty Amount:£120.00
Contravention: Parked or loading or unloading when prohibited
Decision Date:18 Apr 2011
Adjudicator: Carl Teper
Appeal Decision: Allowed Direction: cancel the Penalty Charge Notice and the Notice to Owner.
Reasons:
On 2 April 2011 when I first considered this appeal I caused the following notification to be sent to the enforcement authority:
"The enforcement authority is directed to prove by statement that the camera operator is duly authorised to provide photographic evidence of the contravention. Further, paragraph 2(c) of the Schedule to the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (Approved Devices) (England) Order 2007, requires that the recording device must include a recording system in which "each frame of all captured images is timed (in hours, minutes and seconds), dated and sequentially numbered automatically by means of a visual counter". The DVD does not appear to bear this information. The date and times can be seen on the footage but there is no indication of sequential numbering. The authority is directed to comment on this apparent failure to meet the scheduled requirements and the conditions of use."
  
The authority has responded and I am satisfied that the camera operator is duly authorised to provide photographic evidence of the contravention.

However, I am not satisfied that the authority has complied with the requirement in paragraph 2(c) of the Schedule to the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (Approved Devices) (England) Order 2007, that the recording device must include a recording system in which "each frame of all captured images is timed (in hours, minutes and seconds), dated and sequentially numbered automatically by means of a visual counter".

Whilst each frame of the captured images are timed and dated, I find that they are not sequentially numbered automatically by means of a visual counter.

In coming to this conclusion I have accepted the argument advanced by Mr Segal, in his written submissions, that the numbering of the visual counter is not sequentially numbered.

Regulation 4(4) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 provides the grounds on which representations may be made against a Notice to Owner.

Regulation 4(4)(f) states:

   'that there has been a procedural impropriety on the part of the enforcement authority'

"Procedural impropriety" in this context means a failure by the enforcement authority to observe any requirement imposed by the Traffic Management Act 2004 or the General Regulations or Representations and Appeals Regulations. This includes, pursuant to Regulation 4(5)(a) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 the taking of any step, whether or not involving the service of any document, otherwise than in accordance with the conditions subject to which; or at the time or during the period when, it is authorised or required to be taken.

I find that the failure to sequentially number the captured images, by means of a visual counter, to be a procedural impropriety as so defined.

Regulation 7(2) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 provides that if the Adjudicator concludes that a ground specified in Regulation 4(4) above applies, "he shall allow the appeal". There is no discretion about this.

The appeal is allowed.