UPDATE: Photo added. On November 22nd 2015 we published a story about the illegal ANPR cameras used by Parking Eye at the Priory Centre in Worksop.
As from16:20 hours on 25th February a handwritten notice has been taped to the ticket machines in the Priory Centre which says ‘Ticket machines and cameras are out of order until further notice. Parking is Free‘.
Coincidence? Perhaps not. Bassetlaw District Council is undertaking an enquiry into Parking Eye’s use of unauthorised ANPR cameras and a decision will be made by the Planning Committee if PE apply for retrospective planning permission.
Parking Eye’s strategy of deliberately not bothering to get planning permission appears to be backfiring. At the same time this story was published in the Worksop ‘Guardian’ an email was sent to the landowners-Columbia Threadneedle-asking for their comments and whether they wanted to be associated with a parking company that scams unwary motorists. (To date Columbia Threadneedle has not responded) In the event of a legal challenge to PE the landowners are jointly and severally liable for the actions of their agents.
The Labour MP for Bassetlaw-John Mann-has had complaints from his constituents about Parking Eye’s ‘management’ of the Priory Centre car park and seems unable to do anything about it but a private citizen who asked the right questions from the right people has put Parking Eye under pressure to explain why they think they can do what they want when they want and how they want. A few of the questions that should be addressed to the manager of the Priory Centre Mr.David Aunins are: Did he know Parking Eye were using ANPR cameras, did they ask for permission to use them, is he aware ANPR cameras on steel poles need planning permission?
People Power. Use it.
28/02/2016. This article has been re-blogged on http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/
I am grateful to my IT guru for the following information.
Why Parking Eye’s ANPR cameras cannot be trusted. The ANPR system is unreliable and neither synchronised nor accurate.
The BPA code of practice contains the following: ”21 Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR)
21.1 You may use ANPR camera technology to manage, control and enforce parking in private car parks, as long as you do this in a reasonable, consistent and transparent manner. Your signs at the car park must tell drivers that you are using this technology and what you will use the data captured by ANPR cameras for.”
Parking Eye fail to operate the system in a ‘reasonable, consistent and transparent manner’. As Parking Eye place signs too high to see on arrival, there is no opportunity for drivers in moving traffic at the entrance to be ‘informed that this technology is in use and what the Operator will use the data captured by ANPR cameras for’.
Parking Eye fails to clearly inform drivers about the cameras and what the data will be used for and how it will be used and stored. There is no evidence that they have complied with the other requirements in that section of the code in terms of ANPR logs and maintenance and I put this Operator to strict proof of full ANPR compliance.
In addition I question the entire reliability of the system. In the event that Parking Eye issue properly stamped and dated court papers the following should be requested and required: Parking Eye must present records as to the dates and times of when the cameras at this car park were checked, adjusted, calibrated, synchronised with the timer which stamps the photos and generally maintained to ensure the accuracy of the dates and times of any ANPR images. This is important because the entirety of the charge is founded on two images purporting to show a vehicle entering and exiting at specific times. It is vital that this Operator must produce evidence in response and explain to POPLA/Court how their system differs (if at all) from the flawed ANPR system which was wholly responsible for the court loss recently in Parking Eye v Fox-Jones on 8 Nov 2013. That case was dismissed when the judge said the evidence from Parking Eye was fundamentally flawed because the synchronisation of the camera pictures with the timer had been called into question and the operator could not rebut the point.
So, in addition to showing their maintenance records, Parking Eye is required to show evidence to rebut the following assertion. It is contended that in the case of a vehicle being in this car park, a local camera took the image but a remote server added the time stamp. As the two are disconnected by the internet and do not have a common “time synchronisation system”, there is no proof that the time stamp added is actually the exact time of the image. The operator appears to use WIFI which introduces a delay through buffering, so “live” is not really “live”. Hence without a synchronised time stamp there is no evidence that the image is ever time stamped with an accurate time. The contention is that this ANPR “evidence” from the cameras in this car park is just as unreliable and unsynchronised as the evidence in the Fox-Jones case. As their whole charge rests upon two timed photos, Parking Eye is put to strict proof to the contrary and to show how these camera timings are synchronised with the pay and display machine.
As well as being unreliable, this is a non-compliant ANPR system being merely a secret high-up spy camera – far from ‘transparent’ – unreasonably ‘farming’ the data from moving vehicles at the entrance & exit and neither ‘managing, enforcing nor controlling parking’ since the cameras are not concerned with any aspect of the actual parking spaces, nor any parking event at all. This Operator does not show the parking event transparently and truthfully.