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CCTV-style cameras target parents on school run

Surveillance systems used to fine cars parking illegally while dropping off and picking up schoolchildren

Councils are using CCTV-style cameras to snap parents who park illegally when dropping and picking up their children from school.

A new £16,000 surveillance system turns on only during the school run and is able to zoom in on the number plates of cars parked on restricted parts of roads.

The captured footage is then sent in a “video and data package” to councils which post a fine to the motorist.

Videalert, the company which makes the technology said that five London councils and at least two more outside of the capital, are currently testing the cameras, but would not reveal which.

When approached by the Sunday Times, Enfield was the only London council to admit to deploying the system on a test basis, whilst Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Sutton and Tower Hamlets did not respond.

Videalert said it created the system in response to a request by a council worried about children’s safety during the chaotic school run.

“They [the council] said head teachers had been complaining about the parking outside their schools and worrying about the safety of children,” Tim Daniels, a Videalert director, told the Sunday Times.

“Since the first trials started over the summer we have been inundated with requests from other councils across the country asking about the system.”

Alex Henney, general secretary of the National Motorists Action Group, said that the cameras are illegal, as according to government guidelines, such systems should not be used regularly.