Campaigners are donning vigilante-style masks and taking to the streets of Southend warning motorists who are in danger of being nabbed by the council’s spy cars.
The group, known as No To Mob, are following the controversial CCTV cars around the borough on motorbikes, stopping to tell drivers parked illegally to move on – or get a fine.Heh! How’s that for ‘The Big Society’, Cameron?
Their leader is trader Bob Wells, 52, who has led similar protests in Westminster and Bexley, Kent. Mr Wells, owner of Printer and Cartridge Solutions in Woodgrange Drive, Southend, started his campaign following fears the spy car was driving vital custom away from his business.
He claims the car travels along the road past the stretch of shops at least once a day looking for illegal parkers. And therefore is not fulfilling its purpose.
Steve Baker, from Enfield, a member of the group, said: “We are not stopping the cars from doing their job. In fact, we are encouraging and helping them.
“If drivers are not parking illegally, then they won’t get caught.
“We are simply helping the spy car fulfil what the Secretary of State said in 2008, which was to get 100 per cent compliance, with no penalty charges.
“We also observed the cars to make sure they were not committing any offences themselves when they were out.”Who could argue with that? If the presence of the cars is to raise revenue, not combat illegal parking, then the council, clearly:
Andrew Lewis, director for enterprise, tourism and the environment, at Southend Council said: “I am extremely concerned.
“The two civil enforcement officers found their presence extremely intimidating.
“Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do to prevent them from taking this action as they weren’t breaking the law.”Oh dear, so sad, too bad…
In the comments, the battle rages:
Lefty Cyclist Type says...
Alekhine wrote: Lefty Cyclist Type wrote: Aiding and abetting traffic offences. If anyone is injured through this group's irresponsible behaviour then Mr Wells should be held 100% liable.
No - helping the spy car to prevent traffic offences! I'snt that the spy cars job?
People don't learn not to park illegally by being 'tipped off'. It's the same mentality as warning drivers of police speed checks, all it does is enable the speeders to continue their dangerous driving. All this will do is enable illegal parkers to continue parking illegally, just elsewhere.
I wonder if anyone here would be applauding these vigilantes if they were tipping off muggers to the presence of the police?Ahhh… Clearly, in Lefty-Cyclist Land, the smack of firm government is the only way anyone ever learns.
Say, do you ever wonder if Lefty Cyclist Type ever spots those ‘CCTV is installed!’ and ‘Police are on duty’ signs and has an urge to tear them down? Can’t warn off predators, you see!