Camera operators working for a photo verification company are grappling with a complex and challenging situation. On one hand, the proliferation of photos shared on social media has exposed numerous instances of severe traffic violations by these camera vans, including illicit parking at bus stops, on sidewalks, and concealed behind trees or bushes. These infractions have sparked intense public outcry. On the other hand, there has been a recent surge in attacks targeting camera operators, leading law enforcement agencies to intervene and address the issue promptly.
In a previous report, Tasos Ashikkis, the chief sergeant of the Traffic Department at Police Headquarters, highlighted the authorities' consideration of photos posted by citizens on the internet to expose the practices of specific camera operators. As a result, heightened vigilance is being maintained on this issue. Instructions have been issued to senior police officers responsible for monitoring police force members, urging them to ensure proper implementation of monitoring protocols and to also oversee employees of the private photo-camera company.
To address the problem, the police have implemented specific measures, including:
- Increasing checks conducted by police patrols on vans equipped with mobile cameras, ensuring they are parked in locations that adhere to police instructions.
- Re-evaluating suitable checkpoints on the road network for mobile device checks by the Police Departments. A list of additional points, devoid of technical or physical obstacles, will be submitted to Police Headquarters for consideration.
When asked whether a police officer can file a complaint against a van driver with a mobile camera, Ashikki confirmed this possibility. However, he emphasized that issuing an out-of-court notice to someone who should serve as a role model would be absurd.
In response to the serious issue of violence against camera operators, the police have implemented enhanced protective measures. Notably, operators are prohibited from parking for inspections in isolated areas.