Bolton Council putting on the frighteners over CCTV spy cars

Veteran parking campaigner Barry Moss was visited by Bolton Police’s officers this morning after an incident with one of the towns CCTV spy cars.

Moss was caused to have words with the spy cars operators earlier when he spotted them videoing his car. Not only was Mr Moss parked in an unenforceable bay, but the towns spy car was itself parked on a double yellow line.

Mr Moss warned the Council driver not to issue his car with a Penalty Charge Notice otherwise face a citizens arrest.

The matter would have been forgotten except for a Bolton Council official who decided to call in the Police to visit Mr Moss at his home this morning. A Police officer attempted to intimidate Mr Moss by claiming that should he ever attempt a citizens arrest he would find himself subject to criminal charges.

Having entered his home Mr Moss asked the Police what criminal law he was accused of breaking which had caused the Police to be in his home.

Sheepishly Police tried to back track admitting he had broken no laws, however the Police officer offered the benefit of his advice going on to threaten Mr Moss saying “If you threaten to ‘civil arrest’ a CEO, as soon as you put your hands on him we will arrest you for a criminal offence”. But Mr Moss pointed out to the officer that “if someone thinks that I have been harassing them, then that’s a civil matter. You have no right to come around to my home.” Somewhat incredulously the Police officer replied “But he’s a CEO enforcement officer”.

This reveals how some Police view traffic wardens, it must be the uniform. Civil Enforcement Officers (CEO’s traffic wardens) are not the police, even though a small minority may sometimes act like they are. It is also becoming more common for Police not to just threaten the public before any offence has been committed, but to actually pre-emptively arrest them. As in the number of ‘minority report’ arrests prior to the day of the Royal Wedding (see Guardian story here).

Nutsville understands that Mr Moss will be speaking later to the Police officers superior officer to lodge a formal complaint of harassment and to seek the identity of the Bolton Council official responsible for todays Police visit .

This is not the first time a Council has mistakenly conned the Police into harassing law abiding members of the public.  Recently there was a case of using a particularly gullible Police officer to call at the home of a Mr Peaple. Martin Peaple had been warning motorists of Bexley Council’s use of a CCTV spy car outside his local glass shop. Shops along the small parade had noticed a drastic downturn in trade when the Council started to fine customers using the CCTV spy car. In that case the Council even supplied photographs of Mr Peaple to the police. (More on the Bexley story here)

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2 Comments

Kill SwitchSeptember 25th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Why do the police open themselves up to criticism by doing this, they have absolutely no reason to be involved.
And Bolton council may just find themselves in for a rude awakening as more people are made aware of this.

Mark SaundersSeptember 27th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Is Mr Moss sure that it was a sworn constable that came round, and not a Plastic Plod? In bad light, you can easily mistake them for a grown up.

Either way, never invite a vampire or a copper into your home.

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