Thursday, June 30, 2011

CCTV Smartcar enforcement blunder ... voluntary restitution?

After recent successes at PATAS regarding uncertificated CCTV Smartcars the pressure is mounting on councils to volunteer refunds or face investigation by the District Auditor and other agencies, especially if it becomes apparent that enforcement continued in the full knowledge of non-compliance.

Lord Lucas (Conservative)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to take action to ensure that enforcing authorities abide by the statutory prohibition on penalty demands being issued in furtherance of civil parking and traffic enforcement by means of closed circuit television apparatus (CCTV) which has not been certified by the Secretary of State as an Authorised Device; and what action they will take to ensure the refunding of penalties unlawfully taken from motorists due to the use of CCTV apparatus that was not an Authorised Device.
• Hansard source (Citation: HL Deb, 28 June 2011, c413W)

Earl Attlee (Whip, House of Lords; Conservative)
Where a Local Authority imposes a penalty charge using a system of cameras, it must have been certified as an approved device by the Secretary of State. We are satisfied that the civil enforcement regime for the use of CCTV set out in legislation is clear and understood by relevant local authorities. It is for those authorities to comply with legislative requirements and we have no plans to take any further action to ensure that they are doing so.
If a local authority has imposed a penalty notice and has subsequently realised that the proper legal basis for the imposition of that penalty notice may not have been in place, then it will be open to that authority to consider whether it is appropriate to make a refund.

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