IP CCTV Cameras are incredibly widespread now. In larger cities, you can’t seem to walk 100m without seeing at least one, whether it’s a visible security one installed by the council or a private one installed by a resident using one of a number of IP CCTV Kits. Whilst the quality and style may vary, with some even being Dummy CCTV Cameras that don’t capture film, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to shake that feeling of being watched. It was estimated that in the UK, people are caught approximately 70 times a day on IP CCTV Cameras, a staggering amount that can worry people and make them feel stalked as they move around their own towns. However, these cameras have been put in place to protect people, and unless you’re doing something illegal or wrong, you have nothing to fear from being recorded or seen by the CCTV operator. Even the most anti-security camera member of the public will be grateful for recorded footage if it helps them recover from the effects of a crime or misdemeanour.
However, there has been a rise in private cameras designed to catch the public out, rather than help to protect them or property. So-called ‘spy cars’ were used to catch people who were parking illegally or inappropriately in public places. The spy cars were left in a spot and featured multiple IP CCTV Cameras to monitor people parking around it. These were often used by individuals who were upset with people parking outside their home or shop, or otherwise occupying spaces that they shouldn’t. They could be quite easily created by taking an existing car and installing one or multiple IP CCTV Kits inside, hidden out of sight. The majority of spy cars, however, were operated through council schemes where the vehicles roamed the streets looking to catch people out. Whilst most of these cars were operated with the greatest of intentions, they often became over-zealous and drivers and shoppers found themselves inundated with parking tickets from places monitored by spy cars rather than clearly marked security cameras. This forces shoppers away from town centres and high streets to either shop at large, out-of-town supermarket chains or online, causing sole traders and small businesses to suffer.
In 2014, the government made it illegal to use spy cars fitted with IP CCTV Kits alone to enforce and monitor on-street parking. This effectively ended the plague of parking tickets by post and gave people and local shops a much fairer deal by reining in harmful parking enforcement practices. Tickets can now only be fixed to the windscreen by parking wardens, outside of certain exceptions which have been announced since. Following this ban, spy cars seemed to disappear from the streets, with councils ending their schemes, and a lot of individuals swapping to Dummy CCTV Cameras to deter illegal parking. Dummy CCTV Cameras can be somewhat dangerous to use however, as people can easily make complaints about them that can cause trouble for whoever put it up.
Since then, spy cars have made something of a return, but only enforce illegal or dangerous parking in the exceptional circumstances aforementioned. These include parking outside of schools and in bus stops. Earlier this year, Redcar and Cleveland Council re-launched their scheme to ensure the safety of its residents following three children being knocked down outside schools in the region in 2018 alone.