Eric Pickles plans to ban councils using CCTV cars

Cars equipped with CCTV cameras used by councils to catch motorists parking illegally could be banned.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles announced plans to do away with the vehicles – dubbed “spy cars” – to let traffic wardens do the job instead.

The cars are used across east London, and are estimated to have been used to issue 10million fines worth £301m nationally in the past five years.

But pledging to scrap them – possibly by next Easter - Mr Pickles said: “We want to rein in these over-zealous and unfair rules on parking enforcement, so it focuses on supporting high streets and motorists, not raising money.

“Parking spy cars 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 coffers.”

Civil liberties groups called for councils to be more transparent about the level of surveillance from the cars.

But the Local Government Association, representing councils, said the cars help keep children safe near schools and improve traffic flow.