Thursday, July 09, 2009

Highway Robbery? You guessed it ... Camden Council again.

Highway robbery. And that’s official
They took my car away. I am powerless

Hugo Rifkind
From The Times
July 3, 2009
Away on holiday, and the bastards stole my car. I’ve spoken to the police but they can’t help. These bastards, you see, they’re connected. They’re the biggest, meanest, most chiselling bunch of organised crooks from WC1 to N3. They’re known by all sorts of names, many of them unprintable. To most, though, they go by the moniker of “Camden Council”.

We’re talking actual stealing here. I am faultless. They suspended a parking bay, on which my car was parked, and then, because I hadn’t moved it, they took it away.

What could I do? I wasn’t there. I didn’t even realise it had gone until yesterday, when I cycled past the place where it glaringly wasn’t. Did they just move it across the street, so they could get on with their lives? Did they hell. They took it to the pound and they want £260 to give it back.

That seems a pretty clear case of theft to me. And extortion with menaces, to boot. The Mob insists otherwise. They seem to feel they’re punishing me. But what for? Do they think I should have driven to the South of France? With my whole family? In an old Mini?
“You might get it back on appeal,” said the bloke from the council, who was keen to be helpful. Appeal? Might? Get it back? God, I wish we could swear on this page. You steal my car when my back is turned, steal my money to my face and then expect me to feel grateful that I’m allowed to beg for it to be returned?

And there’s no way out. If I don’t pay up, they’ll ratchet the fine up by £40 a day for 56 days until it’s almost two and a half grand. Who can afford that? I can’t. Even some members of the Shadow Cabinet probably can’t.
And if I just let them squash it (and I’m tempted, even though I've owned it since I passed my test and it would probably make me cry) then — get this — I still have to pay £120. For the parking ticket. Which they issued to my car, which I had parked entirely legally, so that they could steal it.

Does it look terribly self-important, for a columnist to bang on about this sort of thing just because it’s happened to them?

Sure, probably. It just struck me, as I hung up, sweating, that maybe columnists don’t bang on about these little miseries enough. We always worry about the big things; the fiddled expenses, the bomb plots, Jordan’s boobs, the lies that lead to wars. It’s the little things, however, that pollute our lives so much more. The receptionist at A&E, your electricity bill, the new wheelie bin, the traffic jam, the cancelled flight, the delivery that never arrives.

It’s the powerlessness, always, against these shapeless systems that seem to hate us, and leave us no option but to hate them back. It’s awful. What a way to live. What a place. What bastards


Anonymous said...

Yes, journalists should comment on such things, but they are all beneath your gaze, only the little people out there, move on. If you had all picked up on what was happening outside the political bubble, just maybe, we would not be in this state. Time for a sharpening of pencils, get out to where it is happening!


Anonymous said...

Section 14 of the RTRA 1984 provides two ways to impose a temporary restriction. By order or by notice. Section 14(2) advises when the simpler method of a notice can be used.

However, either method must follow the Temporary Restrictions Procedure Regs1992.

Regulation 10 advises what the notice issued under reg14(2) of the RTRA 1984 must contain. Regulation 10(4) and 10(5) make it quite clear that a notice and traffic sign are separate entities. This could be a major appeal point as authorities commonly use an amalgam of a notice giving dates etc with the No Waiting roundel traffic sign. However, the TSRGD 2002 prescribed sign for a temporary restriction is to diagram 636 (or 640.1 if it’s a suspended parking meter).

You will note that it is not a permitted variant of the sign to include such data as dates or times. It is limited to either the name of the authority or police and a directional arrow. Nothing else and this view is supported by section 6.26 of the TSM Chapter 3. If the sign used is an amalgam then it is reasonable to argue that the sign is non compliant with the TSRGD 2002 and therefore the restriction cannot be legally enforced.

If the authority failed to follow the correct procedures in the 1992 Regulations, particularly with regard to signage and notices then you are in a very strong position if you present your case well. The average back office staff member will not have a clue about what the correct procedures are and so they will just say you are wrong they are right simply because that's the way it has always been done but don’t be fooled.

Demand evidence that the suspension has been correctly authorised by a Notice under section 14(2) of the RTRA 1984 and that it contains all the details as required by regulation 10(2) of the Temporary Restrictions Procedure Regulations 1992. Ask further, for evidence that regulation 10(3) has been fully complied with regarding notifying statutory bodies such as the Chief of Police. Require evidence that Notices were erected in accordance with the regulations Schedule part 2 and that part 3 of the Schedule was also complied with in regard to the placing and removal of traffic signs.

Firmly advise the authority that you need all these details to prepare your defence at adjudication and if they fail to provide these you will be asking the adjudicator to ask them why they failed and that you will seek the further ground of procedural impropriety to be considered as reason for cancellation.

Corrupt Camden Council said...

Camden council stinks!

Anonymous said...

Ah another victim. I'm a builder in Kentish town and forgot to renew my parking permit. Anyway I got a text from them saying they have removed my van which was very kind although a £260 later. Why could'nt they have text me a couple of days before to remind me my residents permit has expired. I'm annoyed they stolen my money legally!! British people are getting soft unless something happens to them (turn the other way).

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