Bid to put brake on parking 'spies'
Councils in England could be banned from using CCTV cameras and "spy cars" to impose parking fines on motorists under new government proposals.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has said he wants to curb "overzealous" local authorities which use cameras to maximise their income from parking fines.
He warned that public support for CCTV could be undermined if people believed they were being used to generate revenue rather than preventing crime.
A government consultation paper will suggest amending legislation underpinning the Traffic Management Act 2004 to outlaw the practice.
"We want to rein in these overzealous and unfair rules on parking enforcement, so it focuses on supporting high streets and motorists, not raising money," Mr Pickles told the Daily Telegraph.
"Parking spy cameras are just one example of this and a step too far. Public confidence is strengthened in CCTV if it is used to tackle crime, not to raise money for council officers."
The announcement will be seen as a morale-booster as Conservative activists prepare to head off for their annual party conference next week in Manchester.
The Telegraph reported that 75 local authorities, one in four in England, currently has permission to use CCTV or "approved devices" for parking enforcement.
The Department for Transport says CCTV should be used only when it is impractical to use traffic wardens.