Friday, 18 June 2010

The imagination of parking inspectors

has just hit new depths. I do not think I would have believed the story but someone actually captured a photograph of the deed.
There is a car. It was originally legally parked. There is a car. All four wheels are missing. The wheels have been stolen overnight while the owner is at work. The police have been informed. Action is being taken to have four wheels fitted so that the car can be moved.
Along comes the parking inspector. He reads the notice "Police have been informed". He proceeds to write a ticket. Two hours later he comes by and writes another ticket. And then, yes, two hours later he comes by and writes another ticket. By now the council knows what the situation is. Have they told the inspector? Maybe. Maybe not. Even if they have not it is surely clear that there is perhaps just a small problem? He is photographed writing yet another ticket and it does not seem to bother him at all.

I do not know how many more tickets were written. The car was not in anyone's way. It was merely taking up a space that might have been used by someone else, indeed would have been used by someone else as the owner works nights and would, no doubt, have preferred to drive home in comfort.
Parking inspectors, like tax inspectors, generally have a bad name. They do an unpopular job.
They appear to believe they do not have any discretion. More than once I have watched them stop and wait for a meter to run out and start writing out a ticket as the owner rushes up to the car.
"Sorry mate your late and I have to finish writing it now." The inspector is not sorry. The owner is not a mate and there is a single letter on the ticket. They are there to raise revenue.
A neighbour once had a flat tyre, pulled into a legal 10 minute parking space - the sort intended for dropping something off - and was then booked for overstaying while still tightening the wheel nuts. The inspector stood there and watched him do it and then began writing the ticket as soon as the 10 minutes were up. The neighbour ended up paying the fine because he could not prove his story without the expense of going to court.
This time there is a photograph. It is clear the vehicle cannot be moved unless it is hoisted on to a tow truck. The owner might have welcomed the assistance. He will not welcome the parking tickets.

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