Suffolk Co-op CCTV catches 500 in 10-day parking bay misuse

Combs Ford Co-op
Image caption About 500 fines were sent to people misusing the bays during a 10-day period, the Co-op said

About 500 people have been fined in a 10-day period misusing specialist parking bays at a supermarket.

Cameras were installed at a Co-op in Combs Ford, Suffolk, after concerns people were misusing parent-and-child and disabled spaces, and an ATM bay.

Within 10 days hundreds had been issued with tickets by a private company.

A Co-op spokesman said the "scale was more than we believed". While some have complained, many had thanked them for enforcing the rules, he said.

The store, near Stowmarket has about 100 spaces in its car park. Eight are designated for disabled drivers displaying blue badges, six are parent-and-child spaces, and there is one 10-minute bay for people using the store's external cash machine.

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Image caption Signs were installed alongside the cameras informing people about the fines

People spotted misusing the spaces face a fine of £100 which is reduced to £60 if paid within a fortnight.

Lee Hammond, head of security at the East of England Co-op said customers were concerned about people parking illegally in the designated spaces.

One woman, who said she received a fine by post after parking in the ATM bay, using it, then popping into the shop, said the fee was "excessive" and she would not shop there again.

The response to the fines has been mixed, Mr Hammond agreed, but said: "People have told me it's great that we're enforcing this."

The Co-op said it did not make any money from the scheme, which is run by private company National Parking Enforcement.

A spokesman for that firm said its parent company set the levels of the fines and the company just about "breaks even" in its contract with the Co-op.

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