[Due to some unspecified google error The Prankster had to rewrite this blog]
ParkingEye attempted to scam a driver out of £85 by claiming they were parked in a car park for 18 hours.
The scam only failed when the driver proved they were parked over 15 miles away in a secure car park at work at the time.
In an amusing twist to the tale, the ANPR at the works site misread the registration, interpreting a 'F' as a '6'. Perhaps this gives a clue as to why ParkingEye's system also failed.
Parking companies like to maintain the fiction that ANPR is an infallible technology, when the reality is that it is anything but.
Not all drivers have a secure car park they can use to prove they were not in a ParkingEye car park. ParkingEye play on this, and sadly have even won court cases where their clever advocates persuaded judges that ANPR technology is infallible. It is of course, not fair or just that drivers then have to pay several hundred pounds for a contravention that never even occurred.
Parking companies use ANPR to save costs of parking wardens. It is not right that they use a minimum cost solution which does not work properly and issues bogus charges. Technological solutions and failsafes do exist, and create a much fairer environment. The Marlborough Hill site in Bristol is one such example - freedom of information requests reveal that the number of charges for overstays are minimal.
Sadly, such technology is rarely used. The Prankster believes this is because it would cut down ParkingEye's income to a point where they would not be financially viable. The Prankster is of the same mind of the Government and believes it is not fair to deliberately run a car park in a way to maximise the chances of issuing a parking charge:
Contracts should not be let on any basis that incentivises additional charges, eg ‘income from parking charge notices only
The Prankster calls for a change to the code of practice to ban the use of ANPR except on sites where a failsafe is in place.
It is likely that the driver, now has a valid data protection claim against ParkingEye. They have used their data in a way which is clearly not fair or lawful, which violates data principle 1.
A valid claim would appear to be in the range £250-£600.
The Parking Prankster