Saturday, October 23, 2010

Undercover traffic wardens pounce....

Drivers beware, traffic wardens have now gone undercover

Last updated at 2:27 AM on 23rd October 2010

It took Derek Anderson only 60 seconds to walk to a parking ticket machine  -  but in that time undercover officials had already given him a fine. 
As the electrician, 54, headed to pay his fee, two council staff leapt out Sweeney-style from their unmarked patrol car.
Mr Anderson fought the £60 charge imposed by the South London borough of Merton and it has now been ruled unfair by a traffic adjudicator. 
parking meter
Merton council has admitted using civil enforcement officers in unmarked cars to catch drivers
But the council admitted using civil enforcement officers in unmarked cars to catch drivers is spreading to other local authorities.
By law, the parking officials who struck at 8.11am should have worn 'readily distinguishable' uniforms to show who they were and what they were doing. They were also supposed to use a car only to get to their beats. 
Their behaviour was condemned as ' underhand' by adjudicator Joanne Oxlade, of the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service. She said Mr Anderson had committed no offence.
He had told her he was targeted by two men who had been waiting in an 'old banger'. One looked at his car, then the other appeared to hand out the ticket.
Daniel Hamilton, of Big Brother Watch, said: 'Some of these people think they are James Bond. You can't have undercover hit squads going round spying on people parking.'
But Chris Lee, Merton's director of environment, said the council could appeal.

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