Portsmouth man slapped with £100 fine on 21st birthday for parking in car park - that he never actually went to

A MAN celebrating his 21th birthday was slapped with a £100 fine for parking in a car park – that he had not been to.

By Steve Deeks
Monday, 4th July 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Monday, 4th July 2022, 9:02 am

Jamie Chalmers was left ‘shocked’ after he was served a penalty charge notice by Premier Park Ltd which claimed he had entered a car park near the Pompey Centre in Fratton Way on three occasions throughout the day.

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The company also accused the Hilsea driver of overstaying at the car park by three hours.

Jamie Chalmers was left ‘shocked’ after he was served a penalty charge notice by Premier Park Ltd. Pic supplied

But Premier Park was left with egg on its face for the howler after Jamie was able to prove his whereabouts at the time of the alleged offence - having turned on Google Location History on his phone.

Jamie had gone to McDonald’s and KFC during the day, close to where the camera spotted him.

He said: ‘I was shocked when I got the ticket. I thought, “I haven’t parked anywhere for three hours”.

‘The picture they sent me showed me driving back to the main road. Another picture showed me giving way at a junction.

‘They said I had overstayed in the car park by three hours. This was not true. I didn’t use the car park. I had only been to the drive-through.

‘I used my Google location history to hit back against their claims. It shows what times and places you have been to and how long you have been driving.

‘I appealed and showed them the evidence and they had no choice but to drop it.’

In his appeal application, Jamie wrote: ‘The evidence provided by yourselves is inadequate and not valid. These images do not show me in a car park and actually show me at a junction.

‘Additionally, the images were supposedly taken on May 17 and the fine issued on May 23.

‘Please find attached my Google Location History around the times you have stated that I entered and exited the car park.

‘Please find on the screenshot as well proof of the times of which I was in certain locations. The evidence provided is sufficient enough as a dispute so I look forward to your response.’

Premier Park, upholding the appeal, said: ‘Please be advised that on this occasion your appeal has been upheld and the PCN has now been cancelled.’

After looking up negative reviews of Premier Park online, Jamie said it was important to warn others and advise them to use Google location history to back up their case.

He said: ‘I won but a lot of people might not be in the same position. You have to turn Google Location History on for it to work. I recommend people use it to save themselves paying a fine they shouldn’t have been given.’

One review on Trustpilot said: ‘I was issued a PCN for parking in my allocated bay in the car park of my block of flats. My permit was on display with the permit number clearly visible but because the bay number had become bleached by the sun, this was apparently sufficient to issue a fine of up to £100. ‘

Another said: ‘Fined for not paying for parking, despite providing evidence we'd tried to pay using the phone number provided on the ticket machine, but the machine wouldn't accept the payment.’

Premier Park was approached for comment.