Dear Dorset Council,
When a Traffic Warden or private firm is placing a parking ticket on a vehicle wrongly parked?
Is it lawful to take photos of 'inside' the vehicle?
Whilst it is reasonable to photograph the vehicle in its prohibited parking position as evidence, but why are they taking of photos of the inside, both sides at the front and the inside of the back of the vehicle too?
Can you tell me if this is a breach of privacy and what these photos might be used for?
Thank you for your information request.
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Dear Trudy Baddams,
Thank you for your enquiry about photographic evidence taken by Civil Enforcement Officers when issuing a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
It is difficult to be prescriptive as every Parking contravention offence is considered on its merits and is fact-dependant.
As part of the necessary evidence gathering that a Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) has to undertake when issuing a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) they routinely take 3 or 4 photographs of the vehicle, and the position of the vehicle because this is evidence to support the issue of the PCN if challenged. In this regard it is also imperative that the vehicle registration number is clearly visible as it needs to coincide with the checks made by this team with the DVLA regarding the details of the registered keeper.
There is guidance issued to our industry from the Secretary of State as to how CEO’s should operate under the 2004 Traffic Management Act:
8.5 Photographs and notes by the CEO should be kept as further evidence that the contravention took place and help resolve any issues.
On occasions, and because of the potential challenges received from members of the public, it may be necessary to take photographs of the inside of a vehicle but it is made clear during the CEO’s training that photographic or video evidence should only be recorded for the specific purpose that it is being used, in this case, to gather evidence that a parking contravention has taken place. An example of this is to demonstrate, for example, that there is no payment ticket visible on the dashboard, or that a vehicle has been adapted for sleeping & cooking, in cases where the parking is permitted for cars and motor-cycles only.
We do not share images with anyone else other than the owners of vehicle and it is data that used solely for the purpose that it was collected, in this case to process the PCN in accordance with the TMA 2004 although the photographic evidence may be shared with an Independent Traffic Adjudicator at any hearing which ensues as a result of any formal challenge.
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