Wednesday, 7 June 2017

New IPC code of practice weakens data protection levels

The IPC has released version 6 of their code of practice.

Previously the IPC claimed that data protection was very important to them.

Part C: 1.9 Any Keeper Data supplied to you must be handled and processed strictly in accordance with all applicable legal directions.

Part C: 1.10 Failure to abide by any applicable laws relating to data handling is viewed seriously by the IPC and will be considered a serious issue of non-compliance.

However, now that a number of parking companies have been found by the courts to be in violation of data protection laws, this rule is no longer convenient, and so has been ditched. It is now no longer compulsory to abide by the legal requirements. Any violation is now no longer automatically an issue, and even if it is, has been downgraded from a serious issue to a normal issue.

Part C: 1.9 Any Keeper Data supplied to you should be handled and processed strictly in accordance with all applicable legal directions.

Part C:1.10 Failure to abide by any applicable laws relating to data handling may be considered an issue of non-compliance.
The debt collection limit of £60 has been removed.
Where a Parking Charge becomes overdue a reasonable sum may be added. This sum must not exceed £60 (inclusive of VAT where applicable) unless Court Proceedings have been initiated.

The new code also removes protection from motorists facing court proceedings.
Before issuing court proceedings on any unpaid parking charge which is over 12 months old, the operator must first perform a suitable check of the defendant’s last known address.
Obviously it was proving far too inconvenient for Simon Renshaw-Smith to comply with the address checking requirement as he continues his quest to file claims for thousands of years old parking charges for Excel and VCS, This requirement therefore goes into the Will Hurley dustbin of fame as the IPC continue their relentless march to remove inconvenient requirements from their code of practice.

This was an important protection because many motorists find they have CCJs because they have been issued court proceedings at old addresses.

The MOJ issued a consultation on this matter in December 2016.

The government has today (23 December 2016) announced a crackdown on unresolved debts which can damage people’s credit ratings without them knowing. The action comes after concerns were raised that companies were issuing claims to consumers using incorrect addresses.
And the Department for Communities and Local Government will be taking further steps in due course to tackle poor practice by private parking companies.

Will Hurley obviously did not feel it necessary to wait long before thumbing his nose at the government on this matter.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. Negligence in criminal proceedings = criminal negligence?

  2. Their proof reading has missed the fact that the very first page containing text has the foreword welcoming us to the 5th edition.

    On a serious note it has been my experience in another industry that COPs have at their heart that companies subject to the code must firstly act according to law; even then strict compliance with the law may still fall foul of a code which can give consumers better protection than their statutory rights. The IPC appears to turn that principle on its head in that failure to comply with the law is not necessarily non compliance with the code.

    It's bizarre.

    1. Totally agree. The KADOE Contract is not designed for the general public but it places conditions on PPC's to follow applicable law; and in any case the DPA has more than clout than a suitably amended Code of Practice.

  3. Has anyone ever explored the principle that pursuing somebody at an old address might be a breach of DPA principle 4 (Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date)?

  4. I suppose that it was to be expected. They have recently
    introduced a "Investigative Compliance Scheme" to monitor
    any of their members to ensure they are complying with the IPC code of conduct and any rule of Law.
    So you decimate the code of conduct and allow members to charge up to an extra £60 for debt collection which is an unlawful charge.
    I was surprised that the IPC should even instigate a compliance scheme though on closer reading they need
    "significant intelligence" to confirm that members are not complying. So that would appear to rule out IPC.

  5. I didn't think the IPC PPCs took any notice of the code of practice anyway so who cares what it says?

    1. Presumably there is a need to have the capacity to read before being able to take any notice of it?

      Just saying.