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NCP ANPR ticket - driver not identified
MickW
post Sun, 30 Dec 2018 - 13:56
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Hello

Looking for some assistance here. My vehicle was recently driven into an NCP car park, and was photographed on entry and again on leaving after spending just under 20 minutes in the car park. The driver apparently forgot/failed for some other reason to purchase a ticket. I have received all of the usual correspondence and have written to them stating that I am not in a position to identify the driver at the material time as I cannot remember who it was that was driving the car on that particular day, and judging by the photographic evidence they have provided, neither are they (it was an ANPR ticket). I also told them that I made a request for a POPLA code at that time but received no response.

I have now received a letter before claim from their debt collector (BW Legal), and contacted NCP again pointing out all of the above and again requesting POPLA code, which they are now refusing to provide on the grounds that it’s ‘too late’ and they are directing me back to the debt collector.. I haven’t corresponded with them yet, but realise that the clock is ticking.

I have contacted NCP once more stating that my request for a POPLA code is still valid, as there is nothing whatsoever to prevent them from considering a challenge at any stage. I am also saying that refusing access to their alternative dispute resolution procedure on these grounds would be unreasonable and a breach of the Civil Procedure Rules.

I have made an SAR asking for all correspondence in relation to this matter, but they have not fully complied, only sending me a copy of their 'final reminder' document which shows their 'photographic evidence' which, as stated, only shows the bottom half of the front and rear of the car entering and leaving the car park and does not show who was driving. I have requested that they fully comply with the SAR by providing me with copies of the NTK, PCN and any other relevant documents and I will update this thread once I receive a response to these latest requests.

Ultimately I am basing my appeal on the fact that they have failed to identify the driver of the vehicle at the material time, and cannot hold the registered keeper of the vehicle liable for a contravention that was carried out by an unidentified person. I am not legally responsible for the actions of the person driving the vehicle, and they could not legally oblige me to provide them with the identity of the driver, even if I were in a position to do so.

Not too sure how strong this defence would be in court so that’s one thing I could do with some advice upon – something to do with whether POFA applies(?) and I am not sure whether it does in this instance.

I realise I may be skating on thin ice but any input would be gratefully received.

Thanks for any advice you may be able to give.


M

This post has been edited by MickW: Sun, 30 Dec 2018 - 14:17
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post Sun, 30 Dec 2018 - 13:56
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MickW
post Wed, 22 May 2019 - 14:04
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Okay thanks Ostell - I'll let you know how I get on...
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MickW
post Fri, 24 May 2019 - 10:49
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I've had a chat with them. The person I spoke to explained that they usually do opt for mediation to see if there is any chance of reaching a settlement before going to court. I explained that the only settlement I would be willing to accept would be for both parties to walk away, as I felt that they had no case, given that they had failed to establish keeper liability.

Their response was to say that they would put a note on the file to that effect but that they still intended to continue with the claim.

So I'll see them in court I guess!
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ostell
post Fri, 24 May 2019 - 11:56
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You never know. Now that it is possibly out of the roboclaims route and being looked at by a real person AND they have realised that you will not lie down and surrender they may just withdraw.
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MickW
post Fri, 24 May 2019 - 15:17
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Can't see how they can possibly win, unless I get unlucky with the judge on the day...
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MickW
post Fri, 5 Jul 2019 - 13:16
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Hello

I have a strange problem with my case against NCP; either I am going bonkers or I have made a huge mistake!

As previously mentioned, I submitted a DPA SAR in order to view a copy of the Notice to Keeper that they should have sent, but which I never received. This was done through the customer complaints platform known as 'Resolver'. They made a response to the SAR on 26th December 2018 but when I checked it appeared that they had only sent me a copy of a final reminder, and, crucially, not the Notice to Keeper. I immediately sent them a message pointing out that this document was missing from their response to my SAR and the reply I received from them merely stated that they had sent all data that they held on me and therefore their response was complete.

I recently raised a concern with the ICO regarding the incomplete response to my SAR. This prompted an email from NCP to which a copy of the NtK was attached. They claimed that this was sent in response to the SAR so I went back to the Resolver case history to retrieve the response they had sent in order to challenge this and show that this document was not included in this response - this is where it gets weird! The NtK was right there in their response despite the fact that I thought I had checked it thoroughly in order to be sure that they had not sent it at the time. I am very confused and rather worried - either I have just made a horrendous and silly mistake, or somehow NCP have been able to get into the Resolver case history and alter it (which I realise sounds completely paranoid, but I wouldn't put anything past some of these private parking firms!)

I have stated in my defence to the court claim (which is still pending) that this PCN was not provided in response to the SAR and was only received by me a a later date, when a copy was provided by BWL, and now it seems they will be able to produce evidence that will show that this is not the case.

The only saving grace I have is that the date on the NtK they have provided is outside of the statutory 14+2 day time frame, so technically it is non compliant, and therefore they have failed to establish keeper liability - that, and the fact that the NtK shows that the car was in the confines of the car park for less than the 20 minute 'grace' period, will be the basis of my defence in court.

This has done my head in somewhat and I don't really know what else can be said other than that...!

As ever, any comments/advice would be welcomed

Thanks

M
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Umkomaas
post Fri, 5 Jul 2019 - 13:59
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QUOTE
and the fact that the NtK shows that the car was in the confines of the car park for less than the 20 minute 'grace' period, will be the basis of my defence in court.

There is no 20 minute grace period.

There is a 'reasonable amount of time' to enter the car park, read the signage (the contract) and decide whether to stay or go, if staying, purchase the ticket, return to the car, display it, lock up - end of first grace period. It is not defined in minutes, but around 8-10 minutes seem to be generally accepted as 'reasonable', but it's far from set in stone.

The second grace period is more defined - a minimum of 10 minutes in order to leave the car park. This time could be consumed by having to wend a way through a large, busy car park with lots of cars trying to park/exit parking bays, causing congestion and delay, then further delay in exiting the car park with a queue of traffic attempting to join a very busy main road outside of the car park.

20 minutes is not a free amount of time to be taken in one lump as an entitlement. So if you're pleading this in court, you should think through the issues above - but it obviously needs to be truthful.
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nosferatu1001
post Fri, 5 Jul 2019 - 14:23
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It isnt 14+ 2, it is 14 calendar plus 2 working days for delivery. The latter can be 5 or so calendar days.
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MickW
post Fri, 5 Jul 2019 - 14:57
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Well the date of incident is the 8th and the NtK was (allegedly) sent on 21st ergo date received 23/08/18 - 15 days
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MickW
post Sat, 6 Jul 2019 - 11:35
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QUOTE (Umkomaas @ Fri, 5 Jul 2019 - 13:59) *
There is no 20 minute grace period.

There is a 'reasonable amount of time' to enter the car park, read the signage (the contract) and decide whether to stay or go, if staying, purchase the ticket, return to the car, display it, lock up - end of first grace period. It is not defined in minutes, but around 8-10 minutes seem to be generally accepted as 'reasonable', but it's far from set in stone.

The second grace period is more defined - a minimum of 10 minutes in order to leave the car park. This time could be consumed by having to wend a way through a large, busy car park with lots of cars trying to park/exit parking bays, causing congestion and delay, then further delay in exiting the car park with a queue of traffic attempting to join a very busy main road outside of the car park.

20 minutes is not a free amount of time to be taken in one lump as an entitlement. So if you're pleading this in court, you should think through the issues above - but it obviously needs to be truthful.


I was going by this:

BPA Code of Practice (13) states that there are two grace periods: one at the end (of a minimum of 10 minutes) and one at the start. BPA Code of Practice (13.2) states that: If the parking location is one where parking is normally permitted, you must allow the driver a reasonable grace period in addition to the parking event before enforcement action is taken. In such instances the grace period must be a minimum of 10 minutes. BPA Code of Practice (13.4) states that: You should allow the driver a reasonable period to leave the private car park after the parking contract has ended, before you take enforcement action. If the location is one where parking is normally permitted, the Grace Period at the end of the parking period should be a minimum of 10 minutes.
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Macapaca
post Sat, 6 Jul 2019 - 13:09
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You are clutching at straws here. You can't add the two 10 minute grace periods together to claim 20 minutes free parking! That is not what the grace periods are for. It is to allow a reasonable time before and after a period of 'paid' parking to enter and exit including paying! I think you need to focus on other defence points as that is not going to fly.
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MickW
post Sat, 6 Jul 2019 - 13:16
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I don't see it as a way to get 20 minutes of free parking, but rather a way that drivers can get some leeway if there are issues with getting in or out of the car park etc., maybe the driver had some problems getting some change to buy a ticket - who knows? Unfortunately I have now put this in my defence which I filed to the court some time ago (after posting it up on these pages for some feedback) so I'm kind of stuck with it, nevertheless, I am indebted to you for raising the point, even at this late stage.

Looks like the only defence I have is the fact that the NtK dates show that it couldn't have arrived within 14 days, which makes it non-compliant with POFA 2012. God only knows how I am now seeing a copy of the NtK in their DPA response whereas I didn't before - that's a complete mystery. Unfortunately their failure to provide a copy in a timely fashion was another element of my defence which I now cannot use.

Frankly, with this development, I'm beginning to wonder what chance I now have realistically to win the day in court.

This post has been edited by MickW: Sat, 6 Jul 2019 - 13:35
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Macapaca
post Sat, 6 Jul 2019 - 15:41
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Your best defence is POFA non-compliance. It might not even get to court. The PPCs use court as a threat to get people to pay up. They can't take everyone to court as they simply don't have the resources. Of course they occasionally follow through.
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MickW
post Sat, 6 Jul 2019 - 18:20
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The case has been allocated to my local court so I'm assuming it will go to a hearing . . .
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Macapaca
post Sat, 6 Jul 2019 - 18:52
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It will if they don't back out before the date.
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MickW
post Sat, 6 Jul 2019 - 21:46
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I'll let you know. . .
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MickW
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 12:39
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Hi all

Just by way of an update BWL have served me with a Notice of Discontinuance - I'm guessing this means they've thrown in the towel...
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Sheffield Dave
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 12:44
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Continue to meet any court deadlines as if is still a live case until you get confirmation from the court that they've discontinued.
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 13:07
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Or call the court and check!
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Umkomaas
post Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 13:26
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QUOTE (MickW @ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 - 12:39) *
Hi all

Just by way of an update BWL have served me with a Notice of Discontinuance - I'm guessing this means they've thrown in the towel...

It's becoming a regular occurrence where a strong defence is put forward. BWL are essentially debt collectors, using the the threat of court as a pressure lever. Where this doesn't elicit a (very inflated) payment, their next objective is likely to be a judgment in default, where there is no response from the motorist to the court claim. Thereafter, they might pick off the odd weak defence and chance their arm at court (via a gun-for-hire advocate), or, like this case, scurry way when someone faces up to them.

Once you get confirmation from the court, you've got a monkey off your back - well done. It's a pity you (and others) have to jump and clear every hurdle put in your way by BWL in order to get shot of this.
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