Redbridge council has been criticised for using CCTV to generate £5.6m in revenue from parking and traffic enforcement.
Campaign group Big Brother Watch yesterday published data revealing motorists were issued 207,151 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) between March 1 2008 and March 1 2013.
The group is urging the council to ban CCTV surveillance for parking enforcement altogether.
“This report outlines the clear case for a ban on the use of CCTV cameras and CCTV cars for traffic enforcement,” the report stated.
“Serious problems should be tackled by the police and traffic wardens, not unfocussed and revenue-led surveillance.”
Researchers claim FPNs generated revenue of £5,663,929 – a figure making Redbridge the 18th highest earning authority of the 431 in the UK that responded in full or in part to freedom of information requests.
Nick be Bois, Enfield North MP, said The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 contains a surveillance camera code of practice with guidelines encouraging authorities to consider whether they are appropriate before using them.
“I welcome this research by Big Brother Watch, which highlights that despite this guidance and additional oversight, local authorities are continuing to use CCTV cameras for means other than public safety,” he said.
“It is important that the public can have faith that CCTV is being used only in those situations where public safety is at risk and there are no less intrusive alternative routes of investigation.
“That is why it is important to scrutinise when local authorities are using CCTV cameras without it being necessary and proportionate.”
He added that the £312m in revenue made by all authorities across the UK “makes it clear that many hard-pressed drivers are unfairly being hit with arbitrary fines”.
The report, Traffic Spies, published yesterday states that Redbridge uses two CCTV cars which captured 44,507 parking contraventions during the period, and 3,933 moving traffic contraventions.
Public space CCTV cameras captured 110,043 parking contraventions and 48,593 moving infringements.
The council has been contacted for comment.