Volunteers with cameras to catch drivers parking illegally in Portishead
Volunteers with cameras could soon be patrolling a Somerset town centre in a bid to catch illegal parkers.
Portishead residents could be given digital cameras – funded by the town council – to use on patrol along the High Street.
It is the idea of councillor David Pasley, who is asking the town council to give £1,000 towards the set-up costs of the initiative. As part of the scheme residents would be given digital cameras and tasked with patrolling the High Street and surrounding side roads to catch illegal or irresponsible parkers.
Those caught parking illegally, perhaps on double yellow lines or on pavements, would be trapped on camera, with the pictures being sent to the police. Volunteers would be issued with brightly coloured tabards to highlight their presence on the streets.
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A motion is to be put before Portishead Town Council on Wednesday night asking the council to allocate funds for the initiative. Town councillors would co-ordinate the scheme and a working party would be set up to liaise with volunteers.
Earlier this month, Mr Pasley captured on camera a number of drivers leaving their vehicles on the pavement and sent the snaps to police for action.
Mr Pasley said: “The idea is to recruit volunteers to join a Park Watch scheme. It would be similar to Speedwatch, although to target problematic parkers rather than speeding drivers.
“I am asking the town council to make funding available to allow us to purchase a number of digital cameras and other equipment which would be handed to volunteers who would then go out on the streets.
“Parking is not a priority for the police who have limited resources and this scheme would support their efforts to target illegal parking, especially in the High Street. The volunteers would become the local eyes and ears and hopefully the fact that people know they are being watched may make them think twice about how they park.
Avon and Somerset Police declined to comment on what officers would do with the photographs and whether they would result in prosecutions.