A traffic warden has been caught red-handed when he was photographed hiding his traffic enforcement camera behind a newspaper in a van - while being illegally parked on double yellow lines.

The warden was patrolling the Queen's Road in Wimbledon for illegally parked motorists, but was in fact breaking the law he was there to enforce.

The subtly marked CCTV van lay in wait for unsuspecting motorists but to ensure he was completely concealed, he used a broadsheet newspaper to hide the enforcement camera.

Merton Council, who use CCTV vans to enforce traffic laws, state on their website "double yellow lines are sited for safety reasons, in areas where parking could cause a serious obstruction".

A council spokesperson said: "Civil enforcement officers are legally permitted to park where necessary to carry out their enforcement duties; this includes double yellow lines. The officer was not trying to hide the camera. This would be unacceptable. The vehicle has enforcement signs on it and a sign showing a camera on the doors."

Failure to comply with basic traffic regulations by the authorities enforcing them undermines the very laws they are enforcing (and fining motorists for breaching), as well as enrages motorists who judge enforcement officers as 'cash cows' for councils.