A traffic warden may have stumbled upon a new way to catch out law-breaking motorists - by hiding the camera underneath a newspaper.

An eagle-eyed passerby spotted this Merton Council civil enforcement officer parked on double yellow lines in a mobile CCTV car in Queen’s Road, Wimbledon.

He also noticed the surveillance camera, which is fixed behind the windscreen, was shielded from view beneath a newspaper.

The resident, who took the picture on September 1 and posted it online this week, described the council employee as “cunning and underhand".

He said: “This is outrageous from Merton Council for entertaining a CCTV operator that breaks the law to catch unsuspecting motorists.

“The operator, and I stared him in the face, could not care that he was on double yellow lines even after several other passing pedestrians told him to so.”

Merton Council's website advises motorists: "Double yellow lines are sited for safety reasons, in areas where parking could cause a serious obstruction, so please avoid parking where these restrictions apply."

A council spokeswoman denied the traffic warden was trying to hide the camera and doing so would be considered "unacceptable" by parking service managers.

She said: “The vehicle has enforcement signs on it and a sign showing a camera on the doors.”

She added: “Our civil enforcement officers are legally permitted to park where necessary to carry out their enforcement duties; this includes double yellow lines.

“However, we advise them that, if it is at all possible to do their job safely from a point where there are no traffic restrictions, they should do so.”