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I live in the UK. I received a PCN "...for the alleged breach of advertised terms and conditions..."(described in footnotes). They are around registering or 'paying and displaying' a valid car parking permit. The only evidence given of this alleged breach are two photos, one each of my entry and exit.

[I had bought and displayed a ticket/parking permit completely covering the length of time parked, but this is a separate issue which I am not exploring in this present query]

What I would like to ask is specifically whether this an adequate/correct/valid charge? I would've thought they'd need to 1) show in a photo that I have no valid parking permit displayed and then 2) state that they have no record of an online or telephone registration of my parking permit. These would then show evidence of breaching their terms and conditions.

I don't think showing photos of entry and exit alone proves that the terms and conditions have been breached. If I had registered, or paid and displayed a valid parking permit, I would still have a photo of entry and exiting too. So such photos cannot distinguish between someone who has or has not breached the terms and conditions.

I'd think that 'entry and exit photos' as evidence in a PCN only works at a 'pay before exit' type of parking, as it can distinguish those who have or not paid before exiting.

If the entry and exit photos are legally adequate, I would be grateful if this can be explained: on what basis is this adequate?

I would be grateful for any responses.

Thank you.

Footnote: The terms and conditions :

"parking and payment terms

*where you are in possession of a valid permit you agree to park in accordance with the terms set out in the permit. All permits must be registered or clearly displayed during your parking period (please see signage for additional details)
*if you do not have a valid permit and payment is required for parking, you agree to make a payment in accordance with the tariff set out on the signage throughout the car park.
*where your vehicle registration is necessary for making payment for parking you agree to enter your full and correct vehicle registration into the payment machine and make the appropriate payment upon entry or before removing your vehicle from the car park (as specified on the tariff signage).
*we use anpr cameras. the parking time is calculated by the anpr cameras from the point of entry to the point of exit. where anpr is not in use our parking attendants will record entry and exit times. you agree to park fully within the confines of a marked parking bay.
*[about disabled blue badge]
*[about disabled concessions]
*[about parent and child]
*[about not being responsible for damage or loss]
..."

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You are right, the entry and exit photos are only evidence that you were there. This is something they need to prove so the photos may only be for that.

Their statement that you didn’t display a valid ticket/permit is, at present an unevidenced assertion. If you contest this, they will provide evidence that you didn’t (e.g. the actual records they refer to) and you would provide evidence that you did and, if it goes to court, the judge will decide what evidence they prefer. As this is not a criminal matter, they need to prove the offence on the balance of probabilities.

However, there are almost certainly administrative remedies which will allow you to contest the fine without going to court. This would involve you sending them a copy of the permit and them assessing whether their belief that you didn’t display it is justified or not.

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  • to the extent that the entry and exit photos can only prove the car's presence in the car park, and with no other evidence for the charge given, would you think that this invalidates the PCN document in the first instance? (i.e. investigation of further/downstream issues is not necessary). thanks. – Abdul-Kareem Abdul-Rahman Oct 19 '18 at 12:52
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    No - all they are doing is making an assertion that you owe them the fine. You can accept that assertion or reject it. If you accept it no evidence is needed of anything. If you reject it, they must prove their assertion - initially to your satisfaction or if you persist in denying the assertion to the satisfaction of a court or tribunal. It is only where there is a dispute that evidence becomes necessary. – Dale M Oct 20 '18 at 1:31

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