12 December (Part 2) - It’s official. Bexley council CCTV certification IS inadequate - click image for full adjudication
the Bexley Chronicle, the News Shopper and Bonkers have been banging on about Bexley council operating
its parking enforcement vehicles illegally for months. Only last week I said
that we were awaiting a Notomob assisted test case; now I find that an
enterprising resident has gone it alone. Lying Bexley council kept telling us
that its Technical Certification File was an adequate document, everyone who had
studied legal precedents knew it was a lie. What did the parking adjudicator say
about Bexley’s council’s idea of what constitutes a legal certificate?
“The evidence that the recording device is approved is insufficient to such an extent that one might say that there is no such evidence at all.”
The floodgates will open now.
I have to decide whether I should rule on this point [the lack of certification] without giving the Authority a further opportunity to address it. I have concluded that I should not adjourn the matter. Whether a recording device is approved by the Secretary of State is fundamental to the validity of the PCN. The Authority has in fact provided evidence which it says shows that the device is approved. It is therefore for me to decide whether such evidence is sufficient. If the evidence is insufficient, it would not be just for me to give the Authority the opportunity to put it right, especially as both the Appellant and the witness have appeared and they must have some expectation that the matter will be concluded.
The evidence that the recording device is approved is insufficient to such an extent that one might say that there is no such evidence at all. The evidence came in a statement provided by the camera operator, who says that "the equipment used is as prescribed and in accordance with the London Local Authorities Act 2000 and the Code of Practice approved by London Councils."
Regulation 6 (a) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007 provides that a penalty charge shall not be imposed except on the basis of a record produced by an approved device. Section 92 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 provides that an approved device means a device of a description specified in an order made by the appropriate national authority. This is a reference to the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (Approved Devices) (England) Order 2007. The London Local Authorities Act 2000 and the Code of Practice approved by London Councils have no relevance.
This means that there is no evidence to enable me to conclude that the device used was properly approved. The PCN is therefore invalid and I must allow the appeal.
Parking Manager Tina Brooks is on record as saying that Parking Adjudicators need to be educated. Looks like the boot is well and truly on the other foot. Councillor Craske is likely to be an even deeper shade of purple when I see him at tomorrow’s cabinet meeting.
Note: Picture above - actual offence. Date of appeal - 7 December 2011. Adjudicator - Anthony Chan. The full adjudication is available here.