A DRIVER attempted to report a parking company to police for fraud after claiming she “unjustly” received a parking ticket.
Sarah Gashi, a 35-year-old mother of one from Rushwick, believes the time-stamp on photographs showing her vehicle parked in Diglis is incorrect – and took her grievance to West Mercia Police.
But officers declined to investigate the civil matter while UK Parking Control has strongly denied the claims, stating the penalty charge was “correctly issued” by its traffic warden and that date and time stamps on its equipment cannot be altered.
Mrs Gashi’s vehicle was apparently photographed at 2.13pm on Sunday, February 22, and again at 4.18pm in an area where parking is limited to two hours without a permit.
But the primary school teacher is adamant she only arrived in Diglis at about 4pm and says she was actually in Powick all afternoon with her parents, who can vouch for her and her car’s whereabouts.
She said: “As far as I am concerned this is fraud and I have reported the company to police.
“I am completely stressed by the whole situation as I wasn’t there, so should not be made accountable for a ticket that is completely unjust.
“I am shocked someone can try to do this to innocent people.”
UK Parking Control has however firmly defended its approach and dismissed Mrs Gashi’s claims.
In a letter rejecting her appeal, the company wrote: “This parking charge was correctly issued because there are sufficient signs at Diglis Water warning drivers that, should they park their vehicle without displaying a valid permit, this will result in a parking charge being issued.
“Our photographic evidence is clearly date and time stamped.”
A subsequent appeal to POPLA – the independent appeals service for parking tickets – was similarly turned down.
The asssessor of that appeal wrote in the decision: "On a balance of probabilities I am satisfied that the vehicle was parked on site at the times stated on the operator's photographs."
Mrs Gashi, who claims to have a text message proving when she left to visit her friend in Diglis, now faces a bill of £160 – an increase from the initial £60 which she refused to pay.
“I wonder how many other motorists have been in the same situation as me – it is quite worrying,” she said.
“I am not one of those people who would complain if I was in the wrong, but in this case I am infuriated they can try and get away with it.”
The Worcester News was unable to contact UK Parking Control for a comment.