A parking enforcement firm operated a ‘clandestine quota system’ to issue tickets to motorists in a ‘predatory and dishonest’ way. A ruling seen by BBC London details how NSL working for Kensington and Chelsea Council sets its wardens a minimum of ten tickets a day. NSL is the largest employer of parking wardens in the UK, providing on-street parking enforcement for more than 60 councils.
NSL denies setting quotas and said it was "extremely disappointed" by the ruling and was considering its options. The ‘quotas’ came to light after one traffic warden, Hakim Berkani, lost his job in February 2011 and took NSL to court.
In a ruling which has just been published following the hearing at the London Central Employment Tribunal, Judge Burns agreed Mr Berkani had been unfairly dismissed. He wrote “the claimant took the view that the priority should be given to warning motorists about infringements rather than issuing PCNs [fines]. The managers however took the view that a minimum number of PCNs should be issued, and ten per shift was frequently mentioned as an absolute minimum. We accept the claimant's evidence that the managers clearly wanted more rather than less PCNs to be issued."
Judge Burns added "we have no doubt the managers felt under pressure to ensure PCN issuing was maximised and they passed this on to CEOs [traffic wardens]. As a result, CEOs felt under considerable pressure to issue PCNs and some adopted a predatory and dishonest approach to motorists."
Responding to the finding, Mr Berkani, who lives in Wandsworth, told the BBC "I am very happy indeed now I can carry on with normal life. It is unbelievable that NSL are still denying having a quota system. What they've been doing is against the law.”