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Forged Evidence on PCN - Smart Parking - ***Won at POPLA***


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Evening all

 

Just after some advice on what to do next.

 

I've received a PCN from a POPLA registered national company and in the "evidence" they did not supply a copy of the paper ticket, only a entry and exit photo along with the ANPR photo of the VRN. The claim was for overstaying. The entry photo has an object between the car and camera and so the VRN is partly blocked and not legible. An appeal was submitted and as expected it was rejected and so appealed to POPLA.

 

It is clear that as the VRN is blocked and not fully visible, it is impossible for the camera to read this. On closer inspection of the entry photo they have copied the missing portion of the VRN from the exit photo and pasted it onto the entry one. The section pasted is at a different angle to the rest of the plate and the spacing is too close. This was raised in the first appeal but no comment made. POPLA, on the evidence provided by both parties my appeal was upheld.

 

This is a clear act of forgery in an attempt to obtain money, in a legal sense is this deception in an attempt to obtain money, fraud by misrepresentation or anything of similar nature and what would my course of action be? Its not the first time the company has made national press for illegal activities shall we say. But altering documents to try and obtain money is very low and probably not the first time its occurred. Sending threatening letters to scaremonger people is again an immoral act.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

 

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well not really as its only a speculative invoice

what you should have done is not appealed.

you've been here almost 10yrs you should have known better

 

please complete this:

 

 

best idea is to keep radio silent now and see if they issue a letter of claim, which you don't ignore

and move fwd to a court claim.

 

but above all let it run right to the WS stage and then out then in-front of the judge.

not a lot you can do about it till then. IMHO.

 

dx

 

 

 

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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i followed the process outlined in their letter as the options to not pay sounded serious.

 

I've been 'here' almost 10 years but never on the motoring forum, i don't trawl every forum just in case im in that situation so i find your comment a bit strange.

 

its not really a speculative invoice to a layman though, its a fine threatening an increase and further action if not paid. in the same way that had i had a speeding ticket, i should just ignore it and not respond? 

 

i just don't see how it not illegal for a company to send clearly forged documents in an attempt to obtain money. If the sent hundreds of letters out of similar in similar manner and 90% of people paid it out of fear or ease and they received £1m as a result, this would be acceptable and everyone should just ignore it.

 

don't mean to sound funny in any way im just gobsmacked its acceptable 

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no it is not a fine. they cant fine you they are not a court nor council.

 

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Am I right in thinking you've seen the fleecers off and already won at POPLA?

We could do with some help from you.

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yes dave, the fleecers requested by appeal as expected and POPLA ruled in my favour and quashed the speculative invoice

 

We’re not looking at poplas decision now, they have made their decision based on evidence and also state that had they provided the PCN it wouldn’t have altered their decision, so I’d say they question their evidence as it’s not sufficient.

 

I can’t image they would get involved in if they consider it forged as if they were wrong for example it would not reflect well being an independent organisation.

 

that’s the civil matter, the criminal one is how they supply the attached pictures of a number plate that cant be seen

 

And why would a company that clearly deals with the on a daily basis most likely, fail to provide such a key piece of evidence knowing that they would never win the appeal. POPLA didn’t request it from them as based solely on the pictures it was satisfied they had no case. 


Surely if they feel like POPLA haven’t acted fairly and should have least requested it from them, they have grounds to pursue further action (although i understand from my perspective the appeal was full and final, not sure if same applies)

Edited by dx100uk
unnecessary previous post quote removed
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hi dx

not questioning from a legal perspective what you are saying but when a letter arrives with wording of

  • DO NOT IGNORE
  • NOW PAYABLE
  • MUST BE PAID WITHIN 28 DAYS
  • HIGH COURT RULING STATES A PCN ISSUED IS ENFORCEABLE
  • IF YOU PAY THE PCN YOU ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY AND CANNOT APPEAL
  • IF NOT PAID THEN ADMIN CHARGES WILL BE APPLIED IN ADDITION TO AN INCREASE AFTER 14 DAYS
  • FAILURE TO RESPOND MAY LEAD TO CIVIL ACTION TO RECOVER THE CHARGE ALONG WITH JUDICIAL COSTS

 

Thats strong wording stating not to just ignore it, it must be paid, offers to reduce it if you pay quickly and references a court ruling that they can enforce it and a high court say they can. Wording that would scare people into paying, for fear of being taken to court and incurring court costs. When you hear stories of bailiffs being sent when people haven't paid it doesn't feel like you should ignore it.

 

A notice says its defined as:

"Notice is the legal concept describing a requirement that a party be aware of legal process affecting their rights, obligations or duties. There are several types of notice: public notice, actual notice, constructive notice, and implied notice" so not sure how you can describe a PCN as a speculative invoice.

The advice seems to be its enforceable unless its paid, appealed or appealed it to POPLA and can result the use of bailiffs. Not to just ignore it completely.

 

Again im no expert on notices legality but as a company surely sending speculative invoices out demanding payment or else letters has in itself got to be seen as almost duping people into paying money and doing that by sending forged documents has got to be illegal. Cant be any different to someone taking photos of cars in a car park, and their purchased ticket then changing the duration on the ticket so they overstayed and sending a PCN 

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Well done on seeing off these absolute conmen.

 

If you don't mind I will change your thread title to include that you beat these utter filth and add your thread to our PPC Successes thread to encourage others to fight back.

 

Would you mind telling us which company this was, to encourage others to stand up to them?

 

Your anger is spot on but sadly the legal system allows these charlatans to operate on the edge of the law.

We could do with some help from you.

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As with all ppc's and dca letters they dont say will anything ever.

people just dont read them properly.

 

not sure where you are ever getting bailiff use from either.

they can never be involved unless a person losses in court, doesnt pay and the judge specifically grants their use after the claimant goes back to court as request s them.  and evEn then they have no right of forced ent ry on any consumer debt.

 

DX

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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its smart parking uk dave

 

wow how doodoo is the system 🤭 

 

im off to create a company that sends letters to people demanding money with fake photos without fear of being prosecuted. numbers game surely and to think many old and vulnerable will have been conned. immoral yet legal

Edited by dx100uk
unnecessary previous post quote removed
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Not so Smart Parking, they have a woeful record of being spanked when they try a court claim.  Well done.

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We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

 

The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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@tbbt1901's question is still open I think. 

 

Although the PCN was cancelled by POPLA can he report the obvious forged photo to anyone so that Smart Parking suffers some consequences for forgery other than just losing at POPLA?

 

Reporting it to police as a crime on the online crime reporting system is possible but frankly given it was an unsuccessful attempt and for a (relatively) small amount I'd guess the police would do nothing. 

 

Other possibilities?

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smart parking...they went to that bother.... surprises me.

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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If you believe it was forgery then you should report them to the police. However the Police would surely ask you  if it was  the case that your car did overstay the allotted time then the clarification or enhancement  of the VRN  did not cover the fact that you were guilty as charged .

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5 minutes ago, lookinforinfo said:

If you believe it was forgery then you should report them to the police. However the Police would surely ask you  if it was  the case that your car did overstay the allotted time then the clarification or enhancement  of the VRN  did not cover the fact that you were guilty as charged .

 

The parking "offence" is not a criminal matter and nothing to do with the police so they are unlikely to ask that.

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  • FTMDave changed the title to Forged Evidence on PCN - Smart Parking - ***Won at POPLA***

My understanding is that you attracted a PCN and you appealed against it to POPLA and you won.

Well done – that's the end of that story.

Far more interesting is the means by which Smart Parking attempted to apply a PCN to you – apparently by some forged evidence.

I wonder if we could concentrate on that because the rest of the issues which are being raised in this discussion seem generally to me to be no longer relevant as you have won the case.

However, the forgery is interesting because we can have either the basis for action in misrepresentation – or else for unlawful data processing contrary to the data protection act.

If these ideas interest you, then maybe we can start looking at it and it would be helpful if you could begin by uploading a very clear copy of the evidence which you say was forged.

Also, can you tell us did POPLA actually accept that it was forged. Did they comment on it? Did they make any condemnation or criticism of Smart Parking?

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Could you post up what POPLA said to decide in your favour or was it a we have upheld your appeal, with no further information?

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We could do with some help from you.

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Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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Yes I’ll post up the photos sent by SP

 

No POPLA made no comment on it, I guess ultimately they are there to assess whether I have grounds for appeal based on the evidence supplied by both parties. I don’t think they would get involved in that aspect of it and remain impartial.

 

I express that I believed it was forged as the camera cannot see the vehicle it is impossible to read the VRN and that it appears to be copied off the exit photo due to the angle. SP also made no comment on this.

 

I've obviously tried to blank out as much as possible trying to show the whole thing. On entry (front pics) its obscured and the ANPR aspect they have "angled" the plate in an attempt to appear like the object blocking view. on the close up of the front, see the last two letters, which are not visible, they are out of kilter with the rest of the VRN.

 

Poplas response also attached 

cgg.pdf popla.pdf

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OK, POPLA's decision is based solely on Smart Parking having failed to provide POPLA with a copy of the PCN. They acknowledge you gave other reasons why the appeal should be upheld but POPLA concluded it was unnecessary to consider or investigate those as Smart Parking "lost" before it ever got to that point by failing to provide a copy of the PCN.

 

So unfortunately you won't be able to say that POPLA upheld your case that the photos were forged. They neither agreed nor disagreed with you, they simply didn't  consider it.

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Thanks for the photographs – but I'm afraid that I don't really understand quite what you are saying here.

On the matter of POPLA, according to their analysis, you didn't even make any allegation of forged evidence in your appeal. Why is that?

I'm struggling to see where the tampering with the images has occurred in the way that you describe. Please could you help me with this.

If it is correct that they have tampered with the images then I would say that there could be the basis of a claim for quite an interesting amount of money – either because of distress caused by unlawful data-processing or else in the way of exemplary damages awarded for the tort of deceit.

However, before we push this further, I'd like to understand it properly and also to be convinced.

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In my appeal to POPLA i state that the VRN is not visible and that the VRN they attach to the entry photo could be a a copy of the exit VRN, so the evidence is questionable and inconclusive.

 

They make reference in their summary to the effect that i supplied their ANPR image in support of my case so i have raised that it is not genuine, 

 

I have since written to POPLA outlining that i was taking advice on the matter as it could be potential fraud by false representation with regards to falsification of documents in order to obtain money. They responded stating that as the appeal was with POPLA i should wait their outcome. By this point POPLA had emailed both parties and outlined their decision which they must not have seen.

 

In terms of the photo's the last 2 letters on entry and blocked by the ladies head (at sort of a 45 degree angle). The ANPR photo off the same camera manages to read the last 3 letters, which is impossible as it cants see them. It appears that the G&J have been pasted from the exit photo onto this image.The spacing looks slightly out and the G&J also appear at a different angle to the rest of the VRN,

 

I've just realised as I've blocked out the plate you cant appreciate this, ill send it privately to you. For effect they have then added an angled line onto this image to look like the ladies head., I understand that a single image is taken on both entry and exit and the VRN read off that, I guess if my allegation that the evidence was copied and pasted from another source, it would have been countered and cleared up in their response to POPLA but it wasn't even addressed.

 

No reputable company would likely carry out this act but knowing how cash hungry these organisations are i believe its probable.

 

 

 

@Ethel Street, I said that if forgery was involved then that would be a Police matter which it would be regardless that parking offences are no longer part of their remit.

Edited by dx100uk
unnecessary previous post quote removed
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I've been receiving some private messages from the OP including unredacted images.

I can now see that there is evidence of a possibility of some tampering. On a view of the registration number there would seem to be a misalignment of the first part of the registration with the second part of the registration – but it is very subtle.

Also, seeing that the image of the front of the car is partly obscured by people crossing the road, it certainly difficult to understand how they managed to obtain that clear image of the registration plate and of course this suggestion is that they cobbled the image together using part of the front image and part of the back image – and the joining of the two has resulted in the misalignment.

However it is extremely subtle and because the resolution of the images is very poor and also black-and-white from Smart Parking's own system, it's difficult to say with absolute certainty that there has been some skulduggery.

I'm not sure whether the issue of forgery was put before POPLA but anyway, it doesn't seem as if they have considered it and so they've made no comment.

I think it's going to be very difficult to move forward on this and it would require a level of forensic analysis which would probably cost too much money and with an uncertain outcome.
If there was sufficient evidence of image manipulation which would convince a judge, then I can imagine that damages could go to about £2000 or so and even more importantly serious complaints can be made to the information Commissioner, the DVLA and also the controlling body of this private parking company.
I certainly think that I would send Smart Parking an SAR in order to find out what they got. Of course you may not be able to trust the disclosure which was eventually made – but you never know.

I expect the cost of forensic analysis would cost several hundreds of pounds.

I'm afraid that without finding some nugget in a statutory disclosure or without having a very compelling report from a forensic analyst, I think that it may not be worth pursuing.

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With regards to an allegation of forgery, where would be the burden of proof in this. 
 

I know you say forensic analysis is needed and the image quality of the plate is low so without this it is difficult to see the alteration. 
Ultimately is the simple question to them not “without the camera being able to physically see the vehicle’s plate, how is it possible for it to produce an image of this in the evidence you provide, my position is that the only way this image could be produced in full is if some alteration had been made to the image. There appears to the naked eye to be misalignment in the image in question so there is evidence to suggest forgery”

 

If they can provide an explanation and evidence to dispute the claim then I accept I’d have no grounds. Would it be worth submitting the evidence to the police and let them investigate the allegation and decide on further action after that.

 

For me it needs highlighting as if true then it needs stopping before many others become victim to them 

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The burden of proof is with you – and the standard of proof required would be very high – even in a civil case for damages. A judge would be very chary about handing our decision that there had been fraudulent behaviour and would require a very high level of proof.
From what I've seen, I don't think that the evidence on its own will satisfy a judge even though it might raise suspicions and I think that you would need an expert report which had examined the evidence you have and confirmed that there appeared to be fraudulent activity.

As far as contacting the police is concerned – don't bother. They won't take the slightest bit of interest. They certainly won't divert resources to carry out any kind of investigation. You could only have confidence that they would take your complaint seriously if you happen to be closely related to the local police Commissioner or the local chief inspector.

As I've said, submit an SAR and see what happens – but don't hold your breath.

If you want to bring a claim on what you've got then we will help you – but I don't expect it will get very far and it would simply be a waste of money.

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Hello there all. 
 

so as advised I’ve sent in a SAR and begin the 30 day wait on that.

 

I received an email reply today from them after they last week advised me to await the review decision from POPLA.

 

simply reads, after intro and ending “we note your comments and we can confirm the PCN has been cancelled. No further action is required”

 

very vague and again they avoid any comment regarding the allegation of forgery which is nothing more than I’d expect. We can confirm the PCN cancelled is not a reflection on their own decision really as it was cancelled by POPLA not them.

 

the SAR has been sent electronically and a postal copy using the template BF provided.

 

I’ve spoken with a local car parking operator who has confirmed the camera takes a single image on entry and exit and that the ANPR is inbuilt into this to detect the plate using algorithms. It then sizes it, adjusts brightness and contrast and is segmented into individual alphanumeric characters. He stated that in instances where objects and other cars obscure the view, the camera cannot detect the plate. This is why they are generally located higher up as tailgating was common. Likewise towbars and trailers also blocked views. 

 

their words on the picture were that as the object between the camera and plate was completely blocking out 2 characters of the plate, it cannot execute and wouldn’t lot be able to return an image of that part of the plate. The only way that the plate they provide you with on entry can be produced is by superimposing the characters from another plate. 
 

im not sure how long they will keep the images and macro data for as to whether this would be available if needed, in terms of electronic data and imagery. I would imagine that would be key for them if they had to produce anything if fraud was investigated as the supplied images are not true and raise suspicion.
 

I know BF you mentioned data manipulation and or tort of deceit, do you think this would be achievable and worth persuing. Would this worry a company of this size in terms of brand damage and possible fraud being investigated or is it just not going to phase them.

 

best

 

 

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