Drivers are refusing to pay unjust parking fines after seeing photographic evidence altered to show they parked there for longer than they actually were.

Neil Horton claims he parked his car in a UK Parking Control (UKPC) managed car park 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.

Parking scam

Neil has been in touch with Alex Shipp, who campaigns as the Parking Prankster, and is now fighting to expose an alleged parking ticket scam.

Mr Horton, 61, who parked in Newcastle-under-Lyme, said: "I went to Lidl supermarket to buy three items and was in the shop for no more than quarter of an hour. When I returned to my car I was astonished to see that I had received a fine.

"I immediately went back into the supermarket and the manager and myself came out to look for the parking attendant who had completely vanished.

"It is absolutely scandalous."

Parking fine

In July, Simone Riley-Young parked her car in UKPC managed car park Tritton Retail Park, Lincoln. She parked for 1 hour and 40 minutes, and the car park offered two hours' free parking.

When she returned to her car she realised she had a fine that claimed her car had been parked for 2 hours and 20 minutes - with a time stamp showing it was there 55 minutes earlier than she had arrived.

Ms Riley-Young said: "I was meeting a friend in the car park and she arrived there about ten minutes before me so she knows what time I actually arrived.

"When we returned to our cars, under the two hours' free time, I found that I had a fine and I just laughed - I genuinely thought it was human error as there was no way I was at the car park at 7:15, I was still in bed.

[Related story: Traffic warden who gave wheelie bin a parking ticket is in a fine mess]

"When I was appealing against the fine, I had no worries because I knew that I was in the right, so I was really shocked when UKPC rejected my appeal.

"I have since taken my appeal to Parking On Private Land Appeals (POPLA) who provided me with the photographic evidence that apparently shows my car in the car park almost an hour earlier than it was.

"The two photos must have been taken at the same time because the shadows in both images have not moved.

"I'm not going to back down. Having spoken to Alex Shipp I think I've got the backing of other people to highlight this as fraud."

Jade Beeby also parked in Tritton Retail Park, Lincoln in May when the car park offered three hours' free parking and was fined for a time she wasn't there.

The former Lincoln University student said: "I arrived at the car park at 12:40 to give myself an hour to get to my exam at Lincoln Uni at 1pm.

"My exam finished at 3pm and so I will have got back to my car at about 3:20 which is 2 hours and 40 minutes.

"When I received photographic evidence from UKPC, it said I had parked my car at 9:35am but that isn't true - I was having a birthday breakfast in Nottingham until 10am.

"I battled with everybody to try to get the fine dropped but in the end I paid the £100 because it just got too much.

"I know that I was in the right but no one would believe me and it was just not worth all the hassle."

Alex Shipp said: "I deal with a lot of private parking complaints through my blog - sometimes I get between 10 - 20 emails a day from people with parking ticket inaccuracies.

"Most of them highlight flaws with the system but this is a deliberate manipulation of cameras. It's fraud.

"I have spoken to an ex-employee of UKPC and have been told that wardens have ticket targets and receive bonuses if they surpass these targets.

"This needs to be investigated to see how far this practice has spread."

[Related story: Motorist slapped with a fine - for parking across her own family's driveway]

Mr Horton has appealed against the fine to POPLA which was rejected on the grounds that "the signs made it clear that the site has a maximum permitted stay of 90 minutes".

Mr Horton has responded with a further appeal urging the operator to take a closer look at the photographs allegedly taken two hours apart; however, he has yet to receive a response.

Mr Horton said: "They are not going to get a penny out of me."

Mr Shipp has sent a complaint to the British Parking Association (BPA) to ask them to investigate UKPC.

In a statement, the BPA explained that it could not comment on individual cases but they are currently investigating UKPC.

The statement said: "The BPA does not tolerate evidence tampering. Parking management must be fair, reasonable and robust and POPLA exists so that motorists can seek redress for unfair parking practices.

"If POPLA concludes that breaches of the BPA's Code of Practice have occurred, the BPA will investigate and use a scheme of sanctions.

"By applying sanction points we have seen operators change their practices for the better. Multiple or continued breaches can and do lead to expulsion."

When contacted, POPLA said that it could not comment on individual cases.

UKPC did not reply when contacted for comment.

Photo credit: SWNS 

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