Plans to catch illegal parking on camera put on hold amid fears over volunteer safety
Plans to introduce a park watch scheme in Portishead to crack down on illegal parkers have been put on hold – amid concerns for the safety of volunteers.
Portishead councillor David Pasley put forward plans to set up the parking initiative to tackle illegal car parking in the High Street and side roads.
The scheme would involve the council purchasing a number of digital cameras which it would give to volunteers who would take pictures of anyone found parking illegally in the High Street.
The pictures would then be handed to the police to deal with.
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But councillors deferred a decision on launching the scheme, saying further research on the idea was needed.
Some councillors said they were concerned for the safety of the volunteers who may receive abuse if seen taking pictures of motorists.
Councillor Ros Cruse said: “I am concerned about the people that will be taking the photos.
“I am worried that they could end up being duffed up.
“If we are to go ahead with the scheme, the group needs to be set up properly with a constitution and we need to ensure the volunteers are fully insured.
“We, and the volunteers, do not want to end up with blood on our face.”
Other councillors said the park watch volunteers could just be seen as busy bodies.
Councillor Don Cameron said: “We could be creating what would be seen as a team of busy bodies.
“The problem with the High Street is that there is limited parking and perhaps we should look at all the double yellow lines to see if they are necessary.”
Councillors are also planning to write to Avon and Somerset police commissioner Sue Mountstevens to gain her support for a volunteer-led scheme.
Police already hand out tickets to people they find parking illegally along the High Street as part of routine patrols.