Parking meter 31 March 2014

A substantial reward of up to £1,000 is on offer to anyone who provides information that leads to the conviction of people who deliberately damage parking meters belonging to Croydon Council.

Vandalism and theft from meters costs local taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds a year. It also causes huge inconvenience to motorists if machines are out of order.

In the past year, the council’s parking services department has had to deal with incidents of criminal damage that have put machines out of action, leading to huge costs to the council and disruption for motorists who, as a result, are unable to park legally.

Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers has offered its services to the council to launch a campaign asking residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity. A reward of up to £1,000 is on offer, if a prosecution and conviction follows information given directly to Crimestoppers via the anonymous 0800 555 111 number.

Councillor Simon Hoar, cabinet member for community safety and public protection, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Crimestoppers to make it as easy as possible for people to report damage or theft from these machines. A quick call to 0800 555 111 is all it takes to give us the information needed to identify and catch the criminals who are responsible.”

Regan Hook, Crimestoppers’ London Campaigns Manager, commented: “It may seem like a victimless crime, but these attacks affect the motorist who ends up losing their parking fee, and searching for an alternative machine to secure a pay-and-display ticket, only to find the next machine has also been attacked, meaning they lose further money and time. Innocent members of the public should not have to pay for the selfish criminal actions of a few.

“We are urging the public to tell us, anonymously, what they know by contacting the charity. No personal information is taken and your identity will never be revealed. Calls are not traced or recorded, and you will not have to go to court or give a statement to the police. In the 26 years that Crimestoppers has been running, we have never broken our promise of anonymity.”

The reward of up to £1,000 will be paid anonymously through Crimestoppers’ normal procedures. Ring the Crimestoppers national 24/7 telephone number – 0800 555 111 – or contact the charity via the Anonymous Online Form.

Information given via the online form will be eligible to receive the reward only if the user opts in to a secure two-way communication channel available on the website.

Rewards will be payable only for information passed directly to Crimestoppers. Information passed to police will not qualify.