Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 16:01 UK

CCTV car patrols at school gates

Smart car
The specially modified car has a 15ft (4.5m) extendable mast

A car with a CCTV camera built into a periscope has begun patrolling outside schools amid concerns drivers are putting children at risk.

The high-tech camera is being used to deter parents from parking near school gates in Harrow, north-west London, after complaints from headteachers.

Leaflets on traffic safety will also be handed out during the week-long trial.

Harrow council said anyone caught parking illegally on the car's first visit to a school will not be fined.

Lisa Pascoulis, who is a governor at Longfield School in North Harrow, said: "We have a slot of 10 minutes where there are many, many parents dropping off at the schools and hurrying to wherever they are onto next.

'Not big brother'

"They are dropping off on yellow lines, not actually turning their engines off, not parking properly and children literally opening doors and jumping out of cars."

Councillor Susan Hall said: "This particular school has sent out leaflets, they have sent parents and teachers out to persuade parents not to behave in this way, but they have continued to do so.

"So no its not big brother but we are looking after the majority."

The specially modified Smart car, which has a 15ft (4.5m) extendable mast, may also be used to tackle other issues including fly-tipping and graffiti in the borough.

video and audio news
In a campaign to stop parents parking poorly outside schools gates, a London council has launched mobile CCTV patrols to catch those stopping dangerously.

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