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Victory for ex-police officer over Haringey’s infamous CCTV car

Former police officer Robert Woolf with the letter informing him he had won his appeal against a parking ticket from a snooping Haringey Council CCTV car. Picture: Polly Hancock Former police officer Robert Woolf with the letter informing him he had won his appeal against a parking ticket from a snooping Haringey Council CCTV car. Picture: Polly Hancock

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
7:00 AM

A former armed police officer has won to become one of the first people to win an appeal against a parking ticket from an infamous CCTV car in Highgate Village.

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Hampstead estate agent Robert Woolf, 36, received an £130 fine when he was caught unknowingly making an illegal right turn off Highgate High Street in April by the Haringey Council car.

However the former armed protection officer, who was stationed outside 10 Downing Street during a 10-year police career, knew his legal rights of appeal and successfully challenged the ticket.

Mr Woolf, now a sales negotiator in Heath Street with estate agents Anscombe & Ringland, said: “The ticket stunned me. I know the law, but I know lots of people who don’t know the law who will pay for it without bothering to argue because it’s too difficult.”

Confusing signs at the illegal right turning prompted Mr Woolf to contest his penalty charge.

His first appeal was rejected by the council but the authority opted not to contest the fine after Mr Woolf took the case to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service.

Mr Woolf, who was working in the Highgate Village branch of Anscombe & Ringland in Highgate High Street when he got his ticket, urged the council to change the signs near the right turning.

“I’m not sure if this will set a precedent, but I do know that the signposts are in the wrong place for the no right turn,” Mr Woolf, of Borehamwood, said.

“The signposts need to be clearly noticed by everybody. The car is making a lot of money out of people who don’t want to argue.”

A spokesman for the council said it was reviewing whether the signage needs to be changed.

The council’s traffic and parking enforcement car is one of two patrolling the borough.

Last year, the authority denied it used illegal minimum quotas for parking tickets after leaked emails from 2008 showed CCTV cars were told to issue 260 tickets a day, adding up to 87,360 a year.

Fines handed out by “spy cars” were banned by the government in June. Councils can still use CCTV cars to issue tickets on major routes, but traffic wardens have to physically attach tickets to windscreens in all other cases.

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