UK Car Park Management, a parking firm, is offering people a tenner to shop drivers using a phone app. The firm which boasts of operating car parks for McDonalds, Halfords, Tesco and the NHS is handing out a £10 commission to increase parking “fines” dished out to hard-pressed drivers. All users have to do to cash in is take and upload a picture of the parked car to UK Car Park Management, along with its registration number. Until now such firms have relied on employing their own private traffic wardens or installing Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.
It is the latest move by the money-spinning private parking industry which has been criticised for making huge sums from motorists over minor driving misdemeanours.
Defiant CPM boss James Randall, 32, said: “The problem is not with the app but with drivers that do not respect people’s land. The photo uploaded to the app is just the evidence and every one is looked at by a member of staff before a ticket is printed.”
The company offers “complete confidentiality” to the unqualified app users who report drivers to claim £10 for every paid ticket. Drivers are sent a letter demanding £60, which rises to £100 after 14 days without payment. The “quick and discreet” service lets any land or business owner register online and allows them or their staff to start dishing out their own parking charges.
The RAC has blasted the scheme as a “recipe for disaster” and could lead to fights between drivers and app users photographing their vehicles. RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “This is wrong on so many levels it beggars belief.”
The sharp practices of parking companies are already regularly called into question with paid officials dishing out fines, but with members of the public being financially encouraged to shop motorists who overstay, it’s a recipe for disaster.
“This will cause total chaos by undermining trust still further and may even lead to public order offences between drivers and members of the public looking to earn a quick £10.”
And Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “We hoped that outlawing cowboy clampers would have got rid of these sharp practices but it seems that some of the modern day highwaymen are alive and well.”