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Parking enforcement


The Road Traffic Act 1991 (c. 40) provides for the decriminalization of parking-related contraventions committed within Controlled Parking Zones.

Generally, these days parking wrongs are civil matters and not criminal ones. One well-informed person once said that in reality the point and purpose of a great deal of English law is the protection of private property. Flashpark addresses this most important aspect of life in the United Kingdom with specific regard to places on which vehicles are wrongly parked.


That said, it seems to us that there are essentially four routes towards this worthy end:

  • The clamping route
  • The towing route
  • The parking enforcement route
  • The ANPR route

Together, they define the parking enforcement industry in the United Kingdom.

Clamping is going to become illegal in this country sometime in 2012. This is the grand-daddy of all the parking enforcement methods and has the colourful history bequeathed to it by Frank Marugg (a creative and resourceful violinist in the Denver Symphony Orchestra) and Dan Stills, a police officer attached to law enforcement in Denver.

The Denver Boot, as it came to be known, drew inspiration from the notorious Oregon Boot for shackling prisoners.

Clamping has many drawbacks, not least of which are the confrontations and the violence that accompany the procedure, plus the law’s generally sympathetic approach to motorists who break clamps physically.

Towing is a measure of desperation, when all else fails. The request to Marugg to invent something was an offshoot to the problems attached to towing motor vehicles to a car pound, when vandalism and subsequent demands for compensation arose.

The parking charge notice has the virtue of being much more pacific than the clamp.


This way, which is Flashpark’s preferred method, is:

  • Parking warning notices to be prominently displayed
  • The aggrieved property takes a snapshot of the vehicle with a digital camera
  • He/she emails the same to Flashpark
  • Flashpark bills the miscreant

This way boasts the virtues of being both non-confrontational and easy to enforce, at least in theory.

The ANPR method is the fourth option. It is for law enforcement and the users are the police service, who are naturally concerned with the detection of crime including accessories before and after the events. It is not generally open to the private property owner whose grouses are based on civil and not criminal law.

There you have it. If you are a private person or a company and are worried about people parking on your spaces sans your permission, our advice is to contact Flashpark who are experts in parking enforcement.