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TheLawLDN, Lawyer
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Ellen. My question is to do with car park photographs and

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Hello Ellen. My question is to do with car park photographs and privacy in the UK. Essentially I am not sure if the vehicle I was in was photographed and a penalty sent to the car owner. It is not my car or the drivers car and could be compromising. Would the car park be allowed to issue a parking notice charge with an attached photograph in which occupants of the car can be seen?
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Loughton, Essex, UK
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: I rang the company but no answer and I am very worried that IF the car occupants were photographed this may cause big problems. I cannot find out IF a penalty charge notice has been sent to the vehicle owner or not and I could not pay a potential charge without their charge reference number which would only go to the vehicle owner
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No, how much will the advice cost? I do need to know that and the car park is run by gemini parking solutions

Hello, I'm an adviser with JA and I will try to help you.

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Hello, may I ask if you have reason to believe that the car might have infringed the parking regulations at a specific location?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Well, we just pulled into the car park, were not sure if it charged or not and then went out again so we were there 3 minutes or less. I am just worried as the situation could be compromising if a photograph or car with occupants is sent to the car owner

When did this happen?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
This morning

The first thing you should do is to check whether this car park has an allowance, meaning a "grace time" during which you are allowed a stay without having to pay.

Did you check this?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Cant find anything on their website and you have to input the reg number in after 10 minutes of parking (we did not park) After moving off I beacame worried and went into the restaurant that the car park is attached too. This was well after the 10 minute period however. I have looked on the gemini parking solutions website and cannot find anything about if photographs are sent or not with a parking charge notice or if they do would the occupants be visible. This is why I am so worried
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I'm not worried at all about a charge, I am only concerned with there being a photograph sent along with it or not and IF this would be allowed to show occupants of the vehicle

Yes I understood what your concern is.

Please bear with me.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Will do. It could cause a lot of upset if the occupants of the vehicle were seen by the owner of the vehicle in a photograph

Many car parks use ANPR technology, which focuses on the registration plate, though of course a photo of the car is normally taken.

Depending on the characteristics of the car park, the photo may be of the rear, front or both.

The front photo may show the lower part of the windscreen.

The operators must comply with the provisions of a Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, that you may find at the following link:

Under Principle 2 – The user of a surveillance camera system must take into account its effect on individuals and their privacy, with regular reviews to ensure its use remains justified.

Based on your description of circumstances, if the car park was entered and left within the grace time, I don't see why a charge should have been issued, which would rule out the risk that a photo is sent to the keeper of the vehicle.

I am quite sure that the photo would not show the faces of the occupants of the car, but a front photo could theoretically show that two persons were in the front seats.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
That is very helpful. I really hope that our 3 minutes or less checking to see if there was a charge and then turning round and going WAS respected. Your answer is giving me a little peace of mind. I guess it depends how much of our bodies was seen potentially.

As the driver of the car is the person directly responsible for the charge, maybe the driver could contact the car park operator to understand whether a charge was issued and, in case, offer to pay immediately to avoid any formal communication.

If you are sure that there was an allowance of 10 minutes, and you stayed like three, I don't see how a charge could have been issued.

But the only ways to check this is either to contact the car park managing company OR to wait and see is a parking charge notice is sent, which, for the reasons you mentioned, is clearly not an option.

I hope this information is helpful and I wish you the best.

Please do not hesitate to contact JA again if you need help and you may ask to speak with me directly if you wish ("For TheLawLDN only").

I would appreciate it if you could provide a positive rating, if you wish so of course.

Thank you very much.


TheLawLDN and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Gemini parking solutions is not open till Monday and the numbers given do not cover questions of that nature which is really not good, only sales and ticket appeals and I do not know if parking penalties would be automatically sent with no human intervention eg by a computer. Thank you for your advice. Best Eleanor
Customer: replied 9 days ago.

You are welcome.