Author Topic: Stoke Lidl - UKPC Ltd warden fiddles camera timings and issues "ghost" ticket  (Read 10938 times)

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Offline DBC

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Re: Stoke Lidl - UKPC Ltd warden fiddles camera timings and issues "ghost" ticket
« Reply #15 on: 06 September, 2015, 10:45:45 AM »
UKPC have finally admitted that the practice of fiddling the time stamps does gone after first saying it's not possible. They have sacked the "wardens" involved in the scam and have "closed the loophole on the software". No mention if any motorists who fell for this scam and paid up are going to get a refund . Story in today's "Driving" section of the Sunday Times

Offline Pat Pending

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Re: Stoke Lidl - UKPC Ltd warden fiddles camera timings and issues "ghost" ticket
« Reply #16 on: 06 September, 2015, 07:40:38 PM »
By sacking they mean moved to another car park of course!
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Beer in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up,  totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a  ride!!"

Offline The Bald Eagle

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Re: Stoke Lidl - UKPC Ltd warden fiddles camera timings and issues "ghost" ticket
« Reply #17 on: 07 September, 2015, 10:01:55 AM »
Story in today's "Driving" section of the Sunday Times

Is there a copy available please?
WE ARE WATCHING YOU

Offline Ewan Hoosami

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Re: Stoke Lidl - UKPC Ltd warden fiddles camera timings and issues "ghost" ticket
« Reply #18 on: 07 September, 2015, 07:11:14 PM »
Yes there is. The online version was posted today,

PARKING WARDENS(weasels, says I) DOCTORED PHOTOS TO TICKET INNOCENT DRIVERS

UK Parking Control caught out (Ltd, by the way)  :-ev-:


ROGUE PARKING wardens have been caught doctoring photographic evidence so they could issue innocent motorists with £100 tickets.


Attendants working for one of Britain’s biggest private parking companies were able to exploit a loophole in the firm’s software and alter the time-stamp on pictures. The scam involved taking two pictures of a parked car but winding the clock back — by two hours in some cases — on one of them to make it appear as if the vehicle had arrived much earlier. The two photos were then submitted as evidence that the driver had overstayed, and a bogus parking fine was issued.

The scam, carried out in private car parks run by UK Parking Control (UKPC), came to light last week when Alex Shipp highlighted several cases on his website, which offers parking advice to drivers.

One case was that of Neil Horton, 61, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, who stopped off at a branch of Lidl in the town on July 2. Drivers are allowed to park there for an hour and a half, but when he returned to the car 15 minutes later he said that he found a ticket on the windscreen, issued by UKPC.

After appealing, Horton was sent photos of his alleged contravention. The first claimed to show his Vauxhall Corsa at 9.40am, surrounded by several cars. One has its boot open and the driver is loading it up. A second photo, said to have been taken at 11.37am, shows exactly the same scene — including the car with its boot open, still being loaded.

“Were they really suggesting that someone spent two hours loading up their car?” said Horton. “It’s a joke. I didn’t even get to the car park until after 11am.”

Matt Treacy, 27, a web developer, received a ticket for staying longer than the permitted two hours at a UKPC-run car park in Lincoln. He said that he had parked for just over an hour.

Another driver, Simone Riley-Young, 27, who received a ticket in the same car park, said that she was shown a photo with a 7.15am stamp — a time when she was still in bed.

“This seems to have been widespread,” said Shipp. “These cases provide the first evidence of time-stamps being altered, but who knows whether it has happened before. The problem is that it’s very difficult to prove that you were not in a car park.”

The British Parking Association (Ltd), a trade body, is investigating the fraud  :rotfl:, but after being confronted by The Sunday Times, UKPC admitted that the scam had been taking place. It said it had sacked the staff responsible.

“UKPC have been made aware of this incident and it has been fully investigated,” it said. “This is obviously completely contrary to UKPC’s operating procedure <Whistle> and the staff implicated and then investigated are no longer working for UKPC. The company’s software has been reviewed and updated to close the loophole.” <Pinnochio>
Appealing to the council is like playing chess with a pigeon. You might be a chess grand master but the pigeon will always knock all the pieces over, shit on the board and then strut around triumphantly.

Offline Virgil

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Re: Stoke Lidl - UKPC Ltd warden fiddles camera timings and issues "ghost" ticket
« Reply #19 on: 11 September, 2015, 01:56:47 PM »
It would appear that this company is now the subject of a police investigation.

from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11858473/Parking-firm-UKPC-admits-faking-tickets-to-fine-drivers.html

"A parking firm in charge of NHS car parks has admitted faking time stamps on tickets to catch out legally-parked drivers. Dozens of drivers received fines in car parks run by UK Parking Control (UKPC) which is responsible for supermarkets, retail centres and NHS car parks around the country - despite having left the site within the allotted time.

UKPC - which is now at the centre of a probe by the City of London's fraud squad - has now admitted that members of staff, who have since left the firm, exploited a 'loophole' in the firm's photograph system. The company has now offered full refunds to all customers who were given tickets by staff members now under investigation, even those that it believes may be legitimate. A spokesman said that the customers affected won't have to apply for refunds and the money will automatically appear in their accounts in the next few days. However the Uxbridge-based firm refused to confirm how many staff had been dismissed and how widespread the problem was, insisting matters were 'still under investigation'.

Neil Horton claims he parked his car in July for just 15 minutes but still received a fine, despite the car park providing 90 minutes' free parking. The photographic evidence he received stated that he had left his vehicle for almost two hours, however the images, allegedly two hours apart, show the same car behind Mr Horton's with its boot open on both pictures.

“We regret to confirm that a limited number of pictures of vehicles, at a small number of car parks, have had their timestamp altered by a few of our employees to make it appear as though the vehicles had over-stayed when this was not the case,” a statement from UKPC read.

“We have taken this issue extremely seriously and decided that even though a number of the relevant parking charges are likely to have been legitimately issued, we will refund all potentially affected parking charges for over-stays issued by these employees, to ensure that there is no room for error. The repayments will be refunded automatically to drivers’ bank accounts over the next few days. Disciplinary action is in progress in relation to the relevant employees and therefore our solicitors inform us that we are unable to comment further in that regard. We have never before had a problem of this nature, which runs contrary to the normally high standards of our business and the rigorous training of all our staff. We have taken steps to ensure that no further incidents of this nature can occur in the future.”

UKPC, which is hired by private landowners to manage parking, was set up in 2004 in Uxbridge and is run by managing director Rupert J Williams. Accounts show the company has an £8.5m turnover. The MailOnline reported in 2011, the company was taken to court by East Riding of Yorkshire Council in a case which cost the body £41,000. It was found guilty of one count of misleading customers, but acquitted of a further seven counts. The court case followed complaints from East Riding residents who were issued with fines for either parking over the bay lines or for parking in Tesco for more than the permitted two hours.

That decision was later overturned on appeal.

Article ends

Now it might be useful here to assist the police with their enquiries. UKPC have said more or less "isolated incident/locations, rogue employee(s)" etc. If there is consistent and reliable evidence that this occurs at sites they manage on a wider geographic spread, then it might be suspected that this is perhaps co-ordinated or directed, which I expect then moves the whole "blame" issue higher up the food chain. This will not only affect the company (and persons concerned) quite differently but also has reputational issues for the rest of the industry, their suitability to get keeper information from DVLA etc etc

The police (and no insult is intended by this) are not necessarily going to have the time, long term experience of parking companies or the specialist knowledge that some members of this forum have with regard to such issues (although I may be incorrect in this) but if a sensibly organised file of evidence was assembled, showing a pattern of such instances on other sites then this might be of interest to them. It would probably need to include the same sort of photos, either with a "ridiculous" co-incidence as in this case or irrefutable proof that the vehicle was elsewhere when one of the photos was supposedly taken, etc. This might be in the form of news articles, complaints from users of this or other forums etc to build up a convincing proof for each alleged instance of such a fraud.

A co-ordinate submission of a large file (perhaps even in co-ordination with other similar blogs/forums) might well prove of significant interest to the police, assuming of course that there is the evidence to make this worthwhile.

I know talk is cheap and I'm not able to do this myself, but any takers?

 


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