It looks like a standard identity badge, giving the traffic warden’s number and confirming that he is an officer of the local council.
But a closer examination of the card pinned to the warden’s jacket reveals something far more sinister – it contains a tiny lens and is actually a camera for filming motorists.
It is so unobtrusive that many motorists would not even know they were being filmed.
Wardens – or civil enforcement officers (CEOs), as they are now known – are under no obligation to inform drivers that they are filming. The only notification is a small strip across the top of the badge which reads ‘CCTV in operation’. If there is a dispute, footage can be used as evidence in a court.
Councils that have given the £500 cameras to wardens say they protect staff from abusive behaviour and also helps resolve disputes.
But privacy campaigners say the camera is a covert tool that will place ordinary citizens under an even greater level of surveillance.