A national parking management company has been ordered to pay almost £6,000 in fines and costs for failing to comply with a district council investigation into fly-tipping at Leadenham.
North Kesteven District Council was looking into a case of dumped car parts and other material at Leadenham in September last year.
But its investigation was abruptly stalled when UK Parking Control Ltd refused to allow access to footage of cars in a car park it managed in Lincoln.
Although it acknowledged receipt of the request and initially said it would respond, the company subsequently failed to comply and even failed to attend at Lincoln and District Magistrates Court to respond to a charge of obstruction.
After pleading not guilty to the charge of obstruction, UK Parking Control Ltd had asked to give evidence over a live video link, but the application was refused by the court and no-one representing them attended.
The company was found guilty in its absence on Wednesday, April 11, of failing to make available its registration plate recognition data to assist in the investigation. The company was charged with failing, between September 27 and October 6, 2017, to provide ANPR camera footage as required by the council officer in the execution of his duties under s.108 of the Environment Act 1995.
The council was relying on access to the automatic number plate recognition camera technology at the car park serving the McDonalds at Tritton Road in Lincoln. The hope was that this would help to identify the driver after a receipt for goods bought at the restaurant was found within the fly-tipped waste.
McDonalds assisted fully with the investigators’ requests and provided their internal CCTV footage of the man who made the purchase, however the external registration plate recognition system was owned and operated by UK Parking Control Ltd.
This was the only line of enquiry and without it the investigation could not progress.
UK Parking Control Ltd was ordered to pay, within 28 days, a total of £5,752.96, with includes a fine of £4,000 and costs of £1,582.96.
North Kesteven District Councillor Peter Burley, who has special Executive Board interest in enforcement and environmental protection, said after the case it was imperative for all agencies and individuals with information that could lead to the identification and prosecution of fly-tippers to co-operate, as McDonalds had.
“Only by us all taking our civic responsibilities seriously and working jointly will we be able to counter or combat such harmful acts as this fly-tipping. Through the parking company’s refusal to co-operate and comply with the law they have allowed someone else to escape prosecution and left them free to potentially perpetuate such a crime again.”