Stills from a Bell St CCTV camera.
Stills from a Bell St CCTV camera. Contributed

Drivers booked by CCTV

A COUNCIL parking inspector has been discovered using Safe City cameras to catch people illegally parking in the Ipswich CBD.

The inspector used Safe City's cameras to take pictures of parked cars, noted the registration numbers and sent fines in the mail.

Mayor Paul Pisasale yesterday uncovered the inspector's misuse of the security system and ordered immediate action.

He was outraged that the renowned closed circuit system, meant to keep people safe on the city's streets, was being used to watch cars.

The Mayor said the inspector would be disciplined and all fines issued using the cameras would be refunded and the tickets cancelled.

"All fines will be repaid and the trust in Safe City can be restored," Cr Pisasale said.

"Even if they have paid, they will get a refund and the ticket will be withdrawn.

"On behalf of the city, I accept responsibility but I also accept responsibility to fix it ASAP.

"Safe City cameras will never be used for anything except ensuring the safety of the people of Ipswich."

The misuse of the camera system was revealed after The Queensland Times took up the case of triple heart bypass patient Dave Nicholson. The Fernvale resident received two $50 fines while he was parked in Bell St to attend rehabilitation sessions after his major heart operation.

He said he thought he had parked in a disabled space, but the spaces had changed because of recent works on Bell St.

An upset Mr Nicholson said he had to park close to where his appointments were because he was unable to walk long distances.

No parking fine tickets were left on the window of his wife's car, which he was driving.

Instead, the parking inspector took the registration number from Safe City and sent the fines to Mr Nicholson's wife.

After complaining about the fines, he was told to write a letter to council.

Unsatisfied with the response, he contacted The Queensland Times yesterday morning.

After Ipswich City Council looked further into matter, the Mayor realised the parking inspector had been using the Safe City footage improperly.

""I want to assure the people of Ipswich that the parking inspector will be disciplined," Cr Pisasale said.

"I'll leave that to the CEO but it's been nipped in the bud and the trust in Safe City can be restored forever. It was never intended to be used for anything else."



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