Controversial phone app pays £10 if you snap an illegally-parked car

A new phone app promises a £10 commission for photographing illegally-parked cars on private land. 

Anyone with the UK Car Park Management app can snap a picture of car parked without permission, then earn a fee if a ticket is issued.

UK Car Park Management (CPM) uses the car number plate to find drivers via the DVLA database, then issues a £60 fine – rising to £100 after 14 days.

App users remain anonymous to limit the risk of recrimination. The CPM website says: ‘Our parking tickets and signs have no reference to yourself. All correspondence are designed to make the motorist believe they have been caught by a CPM Patrol Warden.’

Power to the people?

Understandably, the potential to ‘shop’ other drivers for money has raised concerns. But CPM managing director James Randall says the scheme is a way to empower land owners, protecting them from selfish and illegal parking. 

“The problem is not with the app but with drivers that do not respect people’s land. Now you can take action yourself,” Randall told The Mirror. “The photo uploaded to the app is just the evidence and every one is looked at by a member of staff before a ticket is printed.”

CPM’s website offers advice about how app users can designate their property as private land, including free ready-made parking signs. The company can even install automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras for a fee.

Simply send the photo and ‘we’ll do the rest’, they claim.

Or a recipe for disaster?

Not everyone is convinced, however. RAC spokesman Simon Williams told The Mirror the idea “is wrong on so many levels it beggars belief”.

“The sharp practices of parking companies are already regularly called into question with paid officials dishing out fines, but with members of the public being financially encouraged to shop motorists who overstay, it’s a recipe for disaster,” he continued. This will cause total chaos by undermining trust still further and may even lead to public order offences between drivers and members of the public looking to earn a quick £10.”

AA president Edmund King clearly isn’t a fan, either. He said: “We hoped that outlawing cowboy clampers would have got rid of these sharp practices but it seems that some of the modern day highwaymen are alive and well. Even Dick Turpin did his own dirty work without relying on others.”

Protecting property or a charter for parking vigilantes? Let us know your thoughts on the CPM app.