Parking Eye is using ANPR cameras in the Priory Centre Worksop illegally. They do not have planning consent for the cameras. This email has been forwarded to APCW by a resident who sent an FoI request to Bassetlaw District Council about Parking Eye’s ANPR cameras in the Priory Centre. I can confirm that the original planning permission (02/90/00260) for the Priory Centre do not include any reference to CCTV provision of the site Lisa Taylor. Planning Support Manager. Bassetlaw District Council.
There have been 100’s of complaints about Parking Eye’s ‘management’ of this car park and this revelation shows the depth of the underhand practice used by PE to snare motorists. If you or anyone you know has paid a Parking Eye invoice which includud ANPR images from the Priory Centre they have been defrauded. All of the car park users’ details are logged on this system. Over and above the scope that this provides for accessing the DVLA’s database purely on a say so, it would leave a justifiable suspicion that any bulk collection of data in this manner might be open to abuse, if its collector was anything other than scrupulously honest. Tightening up on the DVLA’s apparent cavalier attitude to data requests, in the face of abuses such as those that lead to prosecution, is long overdue. But perhaps it is also high time to crack down on the widespread use of misleading correspondence by parking enforcement companies looking to bully motorists into paying exorbitant charges for trivial civil law misdemeanours that will usually involve no material loss or damage. Especially when there is no need for new law, only effective application of existing law. And indeed to ask out loud whether monitoring car parks with ANPR cameras is either proportionate or desirable. ANPR systems are not without their flaws though. Firstly, they are based on the assumption that between the times you were filmed, you are parked. Is that the case? How many times do you spend ten minutes finding a space before you park? If you get a parking ticket for a reasonably short overstay request the parking company to provide evidence that the car was parked for the period claimed, and not just in the car park. If they don’t have any evidence to refute your claim that you weren’t parked, then on the balance of probabilities you weren’t parked for all of that time. So, if you get an ANPR ticket be sure to check these points; ask the parking company for evidence of the contravention.
From the BPA AOS Operators Handbook.
Section 9.2 ANPR and Data Protection. The Information Commissioner Office (ICO) has published an updated CCTV Code of Practice in 2008 in which they say: “this code provides good practice advice for those involved in operating CCTV and other devices which view images of individuals. It also covers other information derived from those images that relates to individuals (for example, vehicle registration marks)”. The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is the UK law transposing the Data Protection Directive and it defines personal data as data, “which relates to a living individual who can be identified (a) from those data or (b) from those data and other information, which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller”.
So it is clear that data captured by an ANPR system should be treated as “personal data” under the principles of the DPA and falls under the remit of the Information Commissioner’s Office. Section 9.4: Administering your ANPR system. Has the operator notified the Information Commissioner’s Office that they are a data controller (and paid the notification fee)? Does the notification cover the purposes for which the images are used and the disclosures that will be made? If you use ANPR to identify vehicles, you must tell drivers that you are doing so and why you are collecting their data. See Section 21 of the Code and Section 9 of this Guide for more information on using ANPR.
Section 2.2: The general rule is that the principal and not the agent can take steps to enforce a contract. If the parking operator is merely acting on behalf of the landlord/landowner then normally the operator is acting as an agent. In these circumstances the parking operator has no rights to recover the debt and it is for the principal (ie: the landlord/landowner) to do so. Section 2.3: It is important to remember though that if you (The PPC) are given a serviceable name and address for the driver, you must use this information. It is unlawful for you to pursue the keeper of the vehicle if you have a serviceable name and address for the driver. (A good example would be if a relative or friend from overseas -or even from the Isle of Man- drove your car with your permission and was unfortunate enough to be given an invoice from a PPC the Registered Keeper will be sent a letter demanding a silly amount of money. The RK. tells the PPC who was driving and that should be the end of it. The PPC will probably ignore it but there is nothing in legislation that says the ‘serviceable address’ has to be in England and Wales) The laws in Scotland are different and bear in mind an invoice from a PPC is NOT a ‘Fine’ or a ‘Penalty’. Under the 2007 planning regs. for advertising signs if a sign is over 0.3m2 it needs planning permission. For certain signs there is a thing called “deemed consent” this includes the house number on your front door, informational signage such as bus stop signs, signs for fire exits etc. Parking contracts are not included but a ‘No Parking’ sign may well be (not always) There have been cases where Parking Co’s. claim they are entitled to deemed consent as their signs are informational. a judge has said no they aren’t in the same class so Planning Permission is required. If a parking sign is under 0.3 sq m then it is too small to be considered adequate for contract purposes and even the BPA (British Parking Association) say that it should be this size as a minimum so no argument there really. Now, where it gets interesting is that NOT having planning permission for signage is a criminal offence and you cannot agree to any contract that is based upon criminal activity otherwise people will be suing each other for not robbing banks or for charging too much for their marijuana etc. ………..Complain to the local council planning dept and to the Valuations Agency regarding the use of the land. If the Parking Co’s don’t have planning permission and they fail to rectify that after they have had an appeal based on repudiation of contract for being repugnant then they are committing fraud by misrepresentation every time they send out a new demand as they know it is based on a criminal deceit. Parking Eye could apply for retropective planning permission and/or argue the siting of cameras is ‘deemed consent’. Cameras mounted on poles require planning permission, cameras mounted on buildings may not. What is at stake is that PE can breach planning regulations (Not for the first time) and after exposure apply for permission retropectively. If this is the case then everyone can breach the regulations and apply for permission afterwards. This attitude makes a mockery of planning laws. I would urge everyone to write to Bassetlaw District Council. Planning Department. Queens Buildings, Potter Street. Worksop. Notts. S80 2AH and to the landowner pointing out the illegality of the cameras. The manager of the Priory Centre is David Aunins. Centre Management Office, Priory Shopping Centre, Bridge Place, Worksop. Notts. S80 1JR. He has discretion to quash illegal invoices from Parking Eye on production of valid shopping receipts.This raises another question; If the invoices can be cancelled because you are a genuine shopper in the Priory Centre why are they issued at all?
The landowner of the Priory Centre is; Columbia Threadneedle. Threadneedle Asset Management Limited. Cannon Place, 78 Cannon Street, London, EC4N 6AG. Registered No. 573204. Do they really want to be associated with a company that scams motorists by using illegal ANPR cameras?
Parking Eye’s address is; 40 Eaton Avenue, Buckshaw Village, Chorley. Lancashire. PR7 7NA. Accounts overdue at 3rd November 2015. Capital £6,535.00 on 27th April 2015.
Parking Eye was sold to Capita in 2014 for £57 Million.
Glossary: BPA-British Parking Association*. AOS-Approved Operators Scheme. PPC-Private Parking Company. ANPR-Automatic Number Plate Recognition *The BPA is owned, operated and policed by Parking Companies.*