Councils' parking tribunal evidence probed by Exeter police
POLICE are investigating allegations that a council employee falsified details on a map which was given as evidence at a tribunal.
The probe was launched after concern was raised by Peter Harry who was given a penalty charge notice after he left his car parked in Southernhay East, Exeter, in March last year.
The 67-year-old from Dawlish appealed against his fine and took the matter to a tribunal. He claimed the markings on the road were not legally correct.
An adjudicator ruled against him but after obtaining evidence from the tribunal, held in Manchester, Mr Harry went to the police with his concerns prompting a criminal investigation.
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He claims that a council worker from Exeter City Council or Devon County Council, both of which have responsibilities for administering parking in the city, had realised that Southernhay West had been wrongly put as the location on the penalty notice and had changed it to Southernhay to defend the appeal.
He said: “The councils provided a map, showing the location of my vehicle, underneath the marked reference placed on the map is the word Southernhay. On the PCN the location is given as Southernhay West.
“In actual fact I was parked in Southernhay East which would have made the PCN invalid. But sooner that cancel the ticket, I believe they decided to take another route in order to enforce the unenforceable by doctoring the map, which is an attempt to pervert the course of justice.”
Devon and Cornwall police confirmed yesterday that an allegation of perverting the course of justice was currently being investigated.
A spokesman said: “Police have made preliminary inquires following an allegation of perverting the course of justice in relation to documents being altered to assist a prosecution. At this stage we have not established if a crime has been committed so it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”
It is understood that senior officers have been to Manchester and have seized documents which had been filed in relation to the appeal.
It is not clear at this stage which authority was responsible for carrying out the alleged alteration of the map.
No one from either the county or city council was available for comment yesterday.