Market Weighton CCTV – Inadequate Evidence Of Crime

Market Weighton Town Council (MWTC) has revealed that the Town Council are in breach of the Home Office Surveillance Camera Commissioners compliance guidelines.

Market Weighton Town Mayor – Councillor Peter Hemmerman

They have confirmed:

  1. “The Market Weighton Town Council do not hold documents detailing the camera locations. Cameras are stalled in the High Street, Market Place, War Memorial Playing Field and the Aspen Play Park. All cameras are clearly visible.”
  2. “Market Weighton Town Council does not hold or have access to any information relating to crimes committed within the area other than that which is publicly available via the Humberside Police website.”

NB: An alleged crime remains alleged until successfully prosecuted in a court of law. Only upon conviction does it become a crime.

Conclusion

This clearly demonstrates that the MWTC CCTV system does not meet Home Office guidance as MWTC should have such information in the required assessment. MWTC has and continues to fail to operate its CCTV lawful due to:

  1. No signage
  2. Little or no crime

As a result, those convicted when such CCTV evidence has been used have been convicted on inadmissible evidence.

I politely suggest that MWTC and Humberside Police seek legal advice. Hopefully, both have already informed their insurers that they have known about their failures since June 2019.

Further Information

It is a fundamental requirement that a CCTV system does not operate in areas of low crime and anti-social behaviour. There must be evidence of a significant level of crime. The law and regulations governing the use of CCTV have changed dramatically over the last few years and MWTC must ensure that the CCTV system it operates fully complies with the law. This must include a robust and thorough review of the CCTV network. This assessment would need to be supported by data from Humberside Police.

Upon completion of an assessment if any cameras are being used in locations where there is little or no crime recorded, they no longer meet the legal requirement for use as set out by the Home Office Surveillance Camera Commissioners Compliance Guidelines. If this is the case, all such cameras must be removed.

Civil liberties must always be respected, even by Big Brother.

Open To Suggestion

I invite MWTC to suggest to me how they intend to correct the mess they have created.

If they fail to make an appropriate suggestion to me, I will have no option but to refer the case to the Surveillance Camera Commissioner.

Posted in CCTV, Market Weighton

Leeming Bar Parking Ban – Extention Recommended

It will come as no surprise that Steven Lister, Hambleton District Council (HDC) Director of Leisure and Communities is attempting to convince HDC Cabinet that he is right in relation to the Leeming Bar Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) and the law is wrong.

On Tuesday the Cabinet will consider the report by our Steven Agenda Item 4 (click on the link to read the full report).

I note the following with comment:

  • Note 1 – 1.4 – The Council has chosen not to exercise its power to issue any fixed penalty notices during the initial 6 month period. – This is false. HDC stated that the £6,800 cost of the PSPO would be financed by the issuing of 68 £100 Fixed Penalty Notices. If the new order is approved the cost will escalate to over £20,000 of wasted taxpayers resources. This does not include the considerable cost of Officers time.
  • Note 2 – 1.7 Following consultation, the proposal is to amend the restricted area covered by the Public Space Protection Order to exclude the field known as Roughly Corner Farm. – Is this because the site is under investigation? (click on the link to read)
  • Note 3 – 5.1 The Council has taken independent legal advice to ensure that all foreseeable legal requirements have been considered and that the proposed variations to the Order are reasonable in attempting to address the anti-social behaviour at Leeming Bar Industrial Estate referred to in the report. –  So why do HDC state “Disclosure of the information could also impact on the Council’s position in any legal proceedings seeking to challenge the validity of the PSPO and/or in any future prosecutions.”?
  • Note 4 – 5.18 North Yorkshire County Council, as the local highway authority, has been consulted and considers the signs relating to the Public Space Protection Order to be public notices and not traffic signs.   Although the intended purpose and effect of the Order is to restrict the parking of certain classifications of vehicle overnight, it is not a Traffic Regulation Order made under the powers of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (RTRA as amended) that would require the restriction to be signed in accordance with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 (TSRGD 2016).  As the Public Space Protection Order is made under different (non-highway) legislation the RTRA 1984 and TSRGD 2016 are not the relevant documents specifying the terms of its signing. – On December 17 the NYCC Officer who made this statement, David Kirkpatrick, Traffic Engineering Team Leader confirmed he would review this (Recording of the phone call with David can be heard below). The review is still outstanding.
  • Note 5 – Page 53 – Appendix 3 – Multiple notices on floor around industrial estate. – The actions of HDC resulted in a breach of the Environmental Protection Act and as such must never be repeated. This also demonstrates that HDC is being laughed at.
  • Note 6 – Page 64 – Appendix 6 – Inspector Sarah Sanderson responded I am of the strong opinion that this PSPO must continue. – No North Yorkshire Police Officer should ever condone actions that breach legislation. As this PSPO breaches legislation I will register a formal complaint against the Inspector and request that legal advice is sought before they revisit their submission.
  • Note 7 – Page 71 – Religion or belief – There is no evidence to suggest the religion or belief of the driver would be affected by the order. – This is false as it would affect my belief (click on the link to read) and HDC are fully aware of this. In addition, it will affect those who are Vegans.
  • Note 8 – Page 81 – Appendix 10 – No Action Enforcement options shall not be considered where there is no evidence available to identify the likely perpetrator. – This statement confirms no enforcement action will be taken – HGV drivers are behind curtains, motorhomers have curtains drawn and I am inside a sleeping bag. To take photos of anyone in their “bedroom” could result in legal action for sexual offences against the photographer. This could result in being placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

I have informed HDC Cabinet of all of the above.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that HDC must successfully prosecute Strangeway in a Court of Law as without which the PSPO is null and void.

Posted in Hambleton, PSPO

Legal Advice Concerns – Leeming Bar Parking Ban

In relation to the Leeming Bar parking ban, Hambleton District Council (HDC) claimed to have taken “independent legal advice”.

“5.1 The Council has taken independent legal advice to ensure that all foreseeable legal requirements have been considered and that the proposed variations to the Order are reasonable in attempting to address the anti-social behaviour at Leeming Bar Industrial Estate referred to in the report.”

When I requested this information as per the Freedom of Information Act, HDC claimed exemption to prevent disclosure and cited:

“Disclosure of the information could also impact on the Council’s position in any legal proceedings seeking to challenge the validity of the PSPO and/or in any future prosecutions.”

I know it will!

In relation to the “independent legal advice” they go on to state:

“….communications in this context means any document which conveys information including letters, emails, reports, memos, advice notes etc.”

In Essence

To translate the Council speak to plain English, this confirms:

  1. If disclosed we would lose our case in court
  2. The “communication” is not an official document

Formal Notice

As I would request the information held for any court proceedings against me, I give HDC formal notice not to destroy the information they are referring to.

I thank HDC for confirming that they hold the information.

To now destroy the information could prove to be a criminal offence if later requested in a Court of Law.

Conclusion

In the interests of clean hands, I confirm that if HDC continues with their overnight parking ban they will be forced to:

  1. Issue me with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or accept that they have committed a criminal offence of misconduct in public office by implementing a parking ban that amounts to fraud by misrepresentation.
  2. Defend the FPN in a Court of Law.

Your move HDC. Come and get me.

Posted in Hambleton, PSPO

Driffield CCTV – Good News/Bad News

Unlike the fools at Pocklington Town Council and Market Weighton Town Council Driffield Town Council (DTC) are blessed to have in their midst a person that is not engulfed with ego. This has meant that they have progressed the lawfulness of their CCTV system by engaging with me.

Newly Erected Driffield CCTV Sign

Good News

I take my hat off to DTC Clerk Claire Binnington for thanking me for my assistance and providing a list of all 43 locations of the CCTV cameras.

Please see:

  1. Strangeway – Vigilance and Tenacity
  2. Driffield CCTV Camera Locations

Click on both links to read.

Bad News

Sadly there is bad news.

I believe that the system no longer meets Home Office guidance as it is a fundamental requirement that a CCTV system does not operate in areas of low crime and anti-social behaviour. There must be evidence of a significant level of crime. The law and regulations governing the use of CCTV have changed dramatically over the last few years and DTC must ensure that the CCTV system it operates fully complies with the law. This must include a robust and thorough review of the CCTV network. This assessment would need to be supported by data from Humberside Police.

Upon completion of an assessment if any cameras are being used in locations where there is little or no crime recorded they no longer meet the legal requirement for use as set out by the Home Office Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s compliance guidelines. If this is the case, all such cameras must be removed.

Civil liberties must always be respected, even by Big Brother.

I will give DTC 20 working days to provide the elusive assessment to me. If I do not receive the assessment I will have no option but to refer the case to the Surveillance Camera Commissioner.

Posted in CCTV, Driffield

PETRA JACKSON – Evasive or what?

Should Petra Jackson, Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) Governance and Performance Manager be awarded the “Most Evasive Public Servant of The Year” award?

On her LinkedIn profile, she will not even show her face. Yet this pales into insignificance compared to a phone call she had with me on Thursday 19 December. This was after I finally received a reply to my complaint in relation to the SBC Recording Notices Breaching Legislation (click on the link to read) and personally removed the unlawful notices (click on the link to read).

The conduct of Petra was evasive and pushy and totally inappropriate in a public-facing Officer. It demonstrated major failures in systems and processes at SBC. These include:

  1. Failure to deal with a complaint at Stage 1 of the SBC Complaints Procedure;
  2. An attempt to push the complainant to Stage 2 at the earliest opportunity;
  3. A waste of resources by not doing the job right the first time;
  4. Employing a qualified Solicitor and Director of Legal, Lisa Dixon who has demonstrated no understanding of the relevant legislation;
  5. Customer-facing officers must be given training in how to deal with customers.

Ironically, the Government Guidance supports my complaint as it states:

“There are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place. Therefore members of the public and press should not be prevented from doing so”.

Misleading Notices – Removed And Replaced

On Christmas Eve, SBC did a U-Turn and stated:

“I do take on board that the signage that was in place may be misleading, and this has now been replaced.”

SBC failed to send copies to me of the new notices. This will now require an FOI request to elicit them. Surely SBC is not intent on being unhelpful and wasting resources?

Sadly SBC made further false statements that directly oppose the position stated in “ACPO 2010 Statement Condemns SBC Conduct” (click on the link to read):

  1. “We are satisfied with the position taken by the Council in respect of the overt recording of Council meetings.”
  2. “The Council has a duty to ensure that the privacy of private individuals who attend Council meetings is protected, as is their right not be filmed if they object.”

Freedom of Information Request – New Notices

Under the FOI Act, I have requested copies of the new notices.

Formal Complaint – Petra Jackson

I have submitted a formal complaint against Petra Jackson for her evasive and pushy conduct towards me.

Petra Jackson – Evasive or What

In the public interest, I publish the full unedited recording to the Court of Public Opinion.

As SBC is clearly in a state of disfunction, I would politely suggest to SBC Chief Executive Mike Greene that it is time to get a grip before it gets any worse. I would suggest that his future career may depend on it.

I am willing to meet with Mike and fellow campaigners to assist him in the Himilayan task he has taken on.

Posted in Scarborough

Complaint 2 – Lisa Dixon – SBC Director

Today I have registered a formal complaint with Mike Greene, Chief Executive, Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) against Lisa Dixon, SBC Director of Legal & Democratic Services, for treating myself and others with disrespect and disdain.

As can be seen from the read receipt above Lisa Dixon claims she is out of the office until 6 January 2020.

I have it on good authority that this is false as she is in the office for a meeting on 3 January 2020.

The above clearly demonstrates that Lisa Dixon has treated me and others with disrespect and disdain by making a false statement. As a result, I registered a formal complaint with the Chief Executive as he is the only person who can address the complaint.

Posted in Scarborough

Complaint 1 – Lisa Dixon – SBC Director

Today I have registered a formal complaint with Mike Greene, Chief Executive, Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) against Lisa Dixon, SBC Director of Legal & Democratic Services, for treating me with disrespect and disdain.

As can be seen from the letter above Lisa Dixon has:

  1. Responded to my complaint by referring me to Government Guidance instead of addressing the complaint.
  2. The link sent does not work.
  3. The link was later confirmed to refer to a 13-page document within which I was expected to locate the relevant passage.

The above clearly demonstrates that Lisa Dixon has treated me with disrespect and disdain. As a result, I have registered a formal complaint with the Chief Executive as he is the only person who can address the complaint.

Posted in Scarborough

ACPO 2010 Statement Condemns SBC Conduct

A 2010 statement by the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (ACPO) clearly condemns Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) for preventing the recording/filming of their meetings.

“There are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place. Therefore members of the public and press should not be prevented from doing so”.

Yet in SBC “We Disagree With Recording Legislation” (click on the link to listen) Petra Jackson, SBC Performance Manager believes SBC can prevent.

I have invited Mike Greene, the new SBC Chief Executive, to stop the silliness that has not only treated me, the public and the legislation with disdain but also opposes the position confirmed by ACPO.

Posted in Scarborough

SBC “We Disagree With Recording Legislation”

On 5 November 2019, I registered a formal complaint against Scarborough Borough Council (SBC), as signs are restricting the recording/filming of their meetings.

Please see SBC Recording Notices Breach Legislation (click on the link to read)

Brief Extract – Phone Conversation With Petra Jackson

Yesterday, in the name of Lisa Dixon, SBC Director of Legal & Democratic Services, instead of addressing my complaint I received a response referencing Government guidance in a 13-page document.

In an attempt to save resources, I phoned Petra Jackson, SBC Performance Manager. Sadly, Petra was most evasive and even stated that SBC disagrees with the legislation.

Ironically, the guidance Petra sent to me agrees with my position as it states:

“Councils should thus allow the filming of councillors and officers at meetings that are open to the public”.

Invitation To Mike Greene, SBC Chief Executive

I am delighted to learn that Mike Greene, the new SBC Chief Executive, believes:

“Prevention and early intervention is part of our DNA”.

On account of this statement I have referred this rather sad situation directly to him and requested that he chooses one of the following ways forward:

Option 1

Mike intervenes and ensures SBC remove all signs that breach legislation permitting the recording of meetings.

Option 2

Mike declines my offer or fails to contact me.

If this is Mike’s choice, I will have no alternative but to:

  1. Publish the full recording of my phone call with Petra, in the public interest;
  2. Register a formal complaint against Petra for her conduct towards me;
  3. Refer my original complaint to Stage 2; and
  4. Request Mike to refer SBC to the Ombudsman for breaching legislation.

The recent legislation has been in place since August 2014 to prevent restricting the recording of public meetings. My complaint was registered over six weeks ago and yet, despite this, SBC has treated me, the public and the legislation with disdain.

Given the failure of SBC to conduct themselves lawfully and respectfully, if Mike fails to intervene to prevent further breaches by choosing Option 1 before 10.00 27 December, I will be forced to move forward Option 2.

I believe I am being reasonable.

Posted in Scarborough

Pocklington CCTV Cameras Must Be Relocated

Having read the monthly Humberside Police Pocklington Provincial Reports for the past four years I can confirm that the CCTV cameras for Pocklington are in locations with little or no crime and must be relocated to areas where there is evidence of crime. Failure to do so is a breach of the Home Office Surveillance Camera Commissioners compliance guidelines.

Pocklington Town Council Clerk Gordon Scaife

Please see Humberside Police Pocklington Provincial Update November 2019 (click on the link to read)

The report for November is very similar to those for the past four years.

“In Pocklington overall crime continues to go down.”

The report even identifies where crime is taking place:

“These patrols include regular checks on peripheral areas at Pocklington Infants’ School, Maxwell Road (periodic reports of criminal damage and youths causing annoyance), All Saints Church (periodic reports of anti-social behaviour on an evening), the Tennis Club (reports of anti-social behaviour, (ASB)) and town car parks (reports of low level anti-social behaviour).”

The lawful purpose of the Pocklington CCTV cameras is to address crime and thus must be relocated from the Town Centre to Pocklington Infants’ School, Maxwell Road; All Saints Church; the Tennis Club and town car parks.

I do not understand why this has not happened already. The legislation does not permit CCTV cameras to remain in areas where there is little or no crime. I recommend that Pocklington Town Council (PTC) discuss this with Humberside Police. Humberside Police, in turn, may find it useful to discuss this with their West Midlands colleagues.

I have requested PTC to comply with the relevant legislation and relocate the Pocklington CCTV cameras to areas of crime.

In addition, as per the Freedom of Information Act, I have requested all information held by PTC in relation to crime for the locations where the CCTV cameras currently are.

I will now give PTC 20 working days to fulfil my FOI request. If they fail to provide this I will have no option but to refer the case to the Surveillance Camera Commissioner.

Posted in CCTV, Pocklington