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Civil Enforcement Ltd PCN at Doctor's Surgery Car Park

Hi all, 

I was issued a PCN 21 days after the alleged offence took place, for parking at my doctor's surgery. The car park is operated by Civil Enforcement Ltd and from what I've read, they are one of the scummiest companies to exist within the bounds of law. 

The alleged breach of terms is that the driver parked in the car park without obtaining a permit in accordance with their terms. Essentially, I was the driver that day and I am certain I completed the form on the tablet at reception (to register my vehicle). It is Civil Enforcement's view that I did not. Something I cannot prove or disprove, currently. 

I visited the doctor's surgery 2 other times in January after this incident and have yet to receive PCNs for these, but I am fully expecting more which is why I'm fighting this one in the hopes that I can then get the potential future ones voided quickly on first appeal. I am also pretty shocked by the overall experience as I have family members who'd quite easily not realise or not follow along the procedures of registering their vehicle at the surgery. I feel the surgery and Civil Enforcement are praying on those vulnerable. 

On a side note, I was attending my doctor's appointments with chest pains. It included the full works in regards to ECG, bloods, etc. It was concluded that it was "subconscious anxiety" that is causing these pains. I've since determined it's more suppressed anger and not a response to anxiety 😂

Back on topic, I appealed the PCN to Civil Enforcement Ltd, stating I was attending a doctor's appointment during the alleged incident and I did complete the required registration. I also provided evidence of an appointment card that the receptionist produced for me when I first queried the PCN with the surgery after I received it. This appeal was refused by Civil Enforcement on the grounds that there was no evidence I had completed the registration. 

Since then, I have contacted the Practice Manager who has, in the typical fashion of reception and admin staff at this particular surgery, not been helpful and has refused to question, cancel the PCN or contact Civil Enforcement about the incident. I even spoke to a friend who works at the local health board who advised that the surgery has every power to cancel the PCN. I also sent the Practice Manager a link to guidance where "NHS organisations are responsible for the actions of private contractors who run car parks on their behalf." This was quashed as it was specific to NHS Trusts, and the doctor's surgery is contracted by NHS. It seemed as though in that response the Practice Manager was admitting the contract between themselves and the car park was a for-profit activity and that they had no interest in their patients' care/satisfaction if it hindered profit. 

My only option now is to appeal to POPLA before considering the other stages. I have read the forums tirelessly and used a few previous POPLA appeals to create my own appeal I am going to send to POPLA. 

I have given as much information about the situation above as I can possibly think of. I am hopeful that anyone who has a similar incident to me will find this thread, as I am sure there will be extremely helpful responses once this is posted which I hope will help others. 

I think my appeal covers everything that it should and can. Before I share it, here are some notes:
  1. I was the driver at the time of the incident and in my initial appeal stupidly alluded to this. However, I did not specifically say that I was driving. I could've been a passenger. Is this still grounds for wavering keeper liability? I believe this to be my strongest point, especially given the issue date. 
  2. Are there other possible points I should cover I have missed? The parking is well signed so I concede that point. However, I did notice their APNR signage is directly behind a (council-owned) parking space on the street itself. I have noticed if SUVs or vans park in this spot, the signage is blocked, especially if you're entering the surgery car park by turning left. You would easily miss the signage. This particular signage includes small print on data protection and signage stating "new parking terms apply" 
  3. In addition to point 2, I have used an argument I found in another POPLA appeal that was successful regarding the lack of terms. The point is titled "4) Failure to comply with the data protection 'ICO Code of Practice' applicable to ANPR (no information about SAR rights, no privacy statement, no evaluation to justify that 24/7 ANPR enforcement at this site is justified, fair and proportionate). A serious BPA CoP breach." Again, I concede that this is probably incorrect as I have found evidence of them abiding by this. Do I still include as a throw it at the wall and see if it sticks?
  4. Finally, is a £100 (reduced to £60 first 14 days) fine a fair amount for a car park which is free to park in for 2 hours if you're a patient of the surgery? If you're not, the parking is £3.50 for 2 hours. £100 seems extremely excessive. Especially when considering the car park is mainly full of patient cars when at capacity and is therefore not producing any revenue for Civil Enforcement Ltd? 

Anyway, I've rambled on enough. Please find my full appeal in the next thread response (due to this already being too long). 

Comments

  • Debszzzz2
    Debszzzz2 Posts: 248 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    Can you show us a redacted copy of the NtK bit with the dates showing? Are the photos in the NtK time-stamped?
  • Hi! Yes, photos are time-stamped. 

    How do I post links without posting links? I received a warning of "You have to be around for a little while longer before you can post links", sorry
  • Debszzzz2
    Debszzzz2 Posts: 248 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    Redact a copy using an editor and you can then post the image (jpg or png) into the thread using the "attach image" icon. No need for links at all.
  • Debszzzz2
    Debszzzz2 Posts: 248 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    edited 16 February at 2:41PM
    As long as you haven't revealed the drivers identity, you should see POPLA uphold your appeal. The NtK is not PoFA compliant as it does not contain the necessary wording and even if it did, it was posted too late to rely on it.

    Have a look at a few recent POPLA decisions and you may want to "lead" the assessor into the "no keeper" liability reason due to lack of PoFA reliance.

    Only the "driver" can be liable for the charge and, as long as the driver hasn't been identified, they have nowhere to go with this. You are under no legal obligation to reveal the identity of the driver and they are not allowed to "assume or "infer" that you were.
  • Thanks so much!

    My only concern is that I said in my initial appeal to CE that I was attending an appointment as a patient of the surgery and that I am certain I entered the details into their system. I did not specifically say I was the driver. Am I still okay going with this stance?

    Sorry to ask to confirm, but feel like I've possibly messed that up with my initial appeal! I don't have a copy of it either, so it's all off memory. Newbie mistake. 

    By lead, you mean push the no keeper liability section higher in my appeal? Or do I need to expand on or repeat anything within it in other sections? 

    Sorry, just trying to ensure I dot the I's and cross the T's.
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 131,145 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited 17 February at 1:25AM
    I wouldn't try POPLA. I'd defend it in court.

    Send your surgery this and tell them they are at the start of the same nightmare that took Yarm Medical Practice 3 years before the penny finally dropped with the Doctors that CEL are ruining the mental health of their patients:

    https://www.facebook.com/story.php/?id=100063617558246&story_fbid=812074820923096

    Tell them to ring & have a chat with Yarm and get themselves out of this wholly inappropriate Contract sharpish before a patient somewhere commits suicide over it.  This is that serious.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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