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#330924 - 19th Jun 2009 12:14pm Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral
_jase_
Unregistered



EXCLUSIVE: The council spy car patrolling Wirral, photographing and fining motorists



A SURVEILLANCE car paid for with council tax is patrolling Wirral taking surreptitious photographs of errant motorists who then receive fines through the post.

But Wirral West MP Stephen Hesford and local councillors have questioned Wirral Council's motives.
The white Smart car - marked out in Wirral Council livery - is fitted with a 'periscope' camera on its roof.

The council says it is primarily to catch out "disruptive or dangerous" drivers - like those who park on zig zag road markings outside schools.

But on Wednesday afternoon a Globe reader spotted it parked in The Crescent, West Kirby - a road the council had been planning to pedestrianise earlier this year - apparently monitoring motorists stopping to use an ATM at a bank opposite on Banks Road.

Its camera was level with the private accomodation above The Crescent's shops. "I was horrified," said the reader, who has asked not to be named but who emailed us his photographs of the car.

"It can park normally and then raise its periscope camera to spy on vehicles while hidden in a row of parked cars.

"You then receive a parking ticket without knowing an offence has been committed. That's sneaky.

"I would also be very concerned about misuse and abuse of this periscope camera by the drivers and of course the cost of such a unit."

He added: "The choice of a Smart car was obviously deliberate, it's size enabling it to hide effectively in a row of parked cars to carry out it's dastardly business.

"I find it petty and vindictive which I guess sums up this awful council.

"Seeing it in the flesh brought home the Orwellian nature of its intrusiveness. I had shivers down the spine."

Wirral West MP Mr Hesford said: "I just wonder whether the council has its priorities right.

"At a time when it wishes to decimate library services it is spending thousands of pounds in snooping on my constituents and disrupting the ordinary commercial life of places like West Kirby.

"I think that the council should re-examine its spending priorities."

The car was seen driving through New Brighton on Thursday afternoon by Globe photographer David Gennard, who followed it as it drove past St Mary's College in Wallasey Village, up Grove Road and onto Warren Drive into New Brighton.

The resort's Conservative Cllr Sue Taylor said: "How dare they waste this money?

"There are more than enough parking enforcement officers on the streets as it is.

"The police also operate large and small cctv vans so this is just blatantly duplicating services we are already paying for.

"Who's agreed it and how much? Surveillance doesn't come cheap."

Tory Cllr Leah Fraser, who until recently chaired the corporate services committee that investigated Wirral Council's use of the government's controversial RIPA laws - which allow council employees to use anti-terror legislation to snoop on residents for incidents like fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour - was also angry.

"This is yet another example of Wirral Councilís confused priorities," she said.

"A mobile cctv camera, which was bought to improve road safety around schools, is instead being used to boost the councilís income from parking fines.

"This is the same council that had to switch off the cctv cameras in crime hotspots due to cash problems.

"Big Brother is alive and well in Wallasey Town Hall, whether it is secret snooping using anti-terrorist laws or a video camera on a twenty foot pole going past your bedroom window."

She added: "Where are these pictures stored? How long are they kept for?

"The public needs to know how long this information is stored and who's got access to it."

A council spokeswoman said: "The vehicle has been on the road since April.

"It has been supplied and is operated by NSL (formerly NCP) as part of their parking enforcement contract with Wirral Council.

"There is no additional cost to the council for the vehicleís deployment.

"Authorisation for the use of this cctv vehicle in Wirral came from cabinet, and it is primarily used to tackle disruptive or dangerous parking, for example outside schools, although it may be used to deal with problem parking anywhere across the borough."

THE GLOBE

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#330942 - 19th Jun 2009 1:19pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: ]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9559
Loc: Birkenhead
I agree with them starting to take action against what some see as petty crime. At one time you would be pulled over for a bulb out, it was a constant reminder to behave yourself, these days no action is taken until someone does a Freddy Kruger.

All crime should be addressed, not ignored, it leads onto bigger crime if it is ignored.

I can't believe the number of parents who park on yellow lines and zig-zags outside schools - they should be done for contemplated manslaughter (if there was such a thing!). I fully support action taken against them, and against the pervs who regularly oggle/chat to schoolkids.

Have you ever sat outside a school and watch what goes on - public service vehicle parked on zig-zags wolf-whistling at schoolkids!!! Sadly some kids take this as a compliment - think they must look grown up - OMG

Guess they can use this vehicle for other offences as well, like criminals that openely take the lifebelts despite people watching them.

Criminals that smash bus shelters, despite people watching.

Its time the word criminal is used more instead of going down the newspaper routes of complaining about enforement of the law.

The only thing I disagree about this car is that you are not informed at the time, there should be a huge flash and a siren blasted straight in your face - YOU'VE BEEN DONE - CRIMINAL!

Oh dear .... I must have watched some television last night, this is why I normally don't, back into nice cosy little nuclear bunker while I scream.

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#330944 - 19th Jun 2009 1:21pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: diggingdeeper]
Wench Offline

H4H County Volunteer
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
Good God man, are you ill raftl What have you done with the real DD? Give him back!!
_________________________
Sometimes Police Officers give more than just speeding tickets!

Itís hard to be fit as a fiddle when youíre shaped like a cello!

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#330947 - 19th Jun 2009 1:24pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: Wench]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9559
Loc: Birkenhead
See last para

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#330951 - 19th Jun 2009 1:27pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: diggingdeeper]
Wench Offline

H4H County Volunteer
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
I should bloody well think so raftl
_________________________
Sometimes Police Officers give more than just speeding tickets!

Itís hard to be fit as a fiddle when youíre shaped like a cello!

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#330957 - 19th Jun 2009 1:29pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: Wench]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
They should write Google on the side - then people would smile and wave at them - instead of shaking their fist raftl
_________________________


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#330967 - 19th Jun 2009 1:47pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: MissGuided]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
If ya doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear, might stop some of the cocks who think they are above everyone and have the right to park illegally just so they dont have to walk a couple of extra yards!!

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#330971 - 19th Jun 2009 2:03pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: MattLFC]
Beaty59 Offline
Addict

Registered: 5th May 2009
Posts: 235
Loc: Port Sunlight
Have always said this to anyone who says cctv is 'against my civil rights' 'is big brother state' etc. If you are not doining anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.
I believe everyone should be chipped at birth, bit like dogs and cats are by RSPCA, and all your info kept on that, so if you are found injured, have an acident, arrested etc authorities can scan and have your info, name, address, blood type etc. Also kids go missing you can locate them straight away, would cut down on abductions as they would be traced straight away and you would know who they were with off their tag.
I know its radical, but anyone who is a law abiding citizen would have nothing to worry about

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#330977 - 19th Jun 2009 2:57pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: Beaty59]
PaulWirral
Unregistered


Seems like someone has left a shoebox outside Waterfields.

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#331049 - 20th Jun 2009 3:54am Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: Beaty59]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Originally Posted By: Beaty59
Have always said this to anyone who says cctv is 'against my civil rights' 'is big brother state' etc. If you are not doining anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.
I believe everyone should be chipped at birth, bit like dogs and cats are by RSPCA, and all your info kept on that, so if you are found injured, have an acident, arrested etc authorities can scan and have your info, name, address, blood type etc. Also kids go missing you can locate them straight away, would cut down on abductions as they would be traced straight away and you would know who they were with off their tag.
I know its radical, but anyone who is a law abiding citizen would have nothing to worry about

Amen that man!!

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#331127 - 20th Jun 2009 6:48pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: Beaty59]
DavidB Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5591
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Originally Posted By: Beaty59
Have always said this to anyone who says cctv is 'against my civil rights' 'is big brother state' etc. If you are not doining anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.
I believe everyone should be chipped at birth, bit like dogs and cats are by RSPCA, and all your info kept on that, so if you are found injured, have an acident, arrested etc authorities can scan and have your info, name, address, blood type etc. Also kids go missing you can locate them straight away, would cut down on abductions as they would be traced straight away and you would know who they were with off their tag.
I know its radical, but anyone who is a law abiding citizen would have nothing to worry about


Are you for real?
How about bar code on the back of the neck? Names taken away and given a number? Camera located in every room in every household? Mandatory head shaving?

CHIPPED AT BIRTH?!?!?!
_________________________
"C20 LET bang"

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#331128 - 20th Jun 2009 6:53pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: DavidB]
DavidB Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5591
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Quote:
I know its radical


Jesus, I'm gobsmacked.
_________________________
"C20 LET bang"

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#331147 - 20th Jun 2009 8:11pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: DavidB]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
Originally Posted By: Station
Originally Posted By: Beaty59
Have always said this to anyone who says cctv is 'against my civil rights' 'is big brother state' etc. If you are not doining anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.
I believe everyone should be chipped at birth, bit like dogs and cats are by RSPCA, and all your info kept on that, so if you are found injured, have an acident, arrested etc authorities can scan and have your info, name, address, blood type etc. Also kids go missing you can locate them straight away, would cut down on abductions as they would be traced straight away and you would know who they were with off their tag.
I know its radical, but anyone who is a law abiding citizen would have nothing to worry about


Are you for real?
How about bar code on the back of the neck? Names taken away and given a number? Camera located in every room in every household? Mandatory head shaving?

CHIPPED AT BIRTH?!?!?!


You can't give chips to a Baby no
_________________________


Top
#332897 - 30th Jun 2009 1:27pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: MissGuided]
_jase_
Unregistered


Wirral Council transport chief defends 'spy car' tactics



WIRRAL council's transport chief has hit back at criticism in the Globe of the authority's so-called spy car.

Last week, we published picturs of the white Smart car using its 11ft periscope to to sneak pictures of shoppers parking in West Kirby to use a cash point.

Stephen Hesford, MP for Wirral West, said the council ought to have beter things to do than "snooping on my constituents and disrupting the ordinary commercial life of places like West Kirby."

He said the council should re-examine its spending priorities.

And Tory councillor Leah Fraser said: "Big Brother is alive and well in Wallasey Town Hall, whether it is secret snooping using anti-terrorist laws or a video camera on a 20ft pole going past your bedroom window."

Wirralís cabinet member for Streetscene and transport services emailed the paper this morning to say: "Wirral tax payers do not pay for the Smart cctv car.

"The car is used to target drivers parking illegally causing hazards to road users and pedestrians.

"If we were to have a Ďspy carí it would not have a council logo and camera logo on the sides of the vehicle and it would not have an 11ft mounted camera on a telescopic arm."

And she added: "The drivers are trained and experienced professionals who use the car for parking enforcement; only people parking illegally have anything to fear."


THE GLOBE




What do YOU think?



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#334497 - 6th Jul 2009 5:08pm Re: Council Spy Car Patrolling Wirral [Re: ]
_jase_
Unregistered


this was parked outside liscard primary school at 3:15pm today. spying on mums and dads picking there kids up.

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