Thieves target parking lot payment machines
5:00 p.m. 23 October 2021
Thieves cut a parking meter from its base and stole it, to learn how to bypass security devices in order to steal the money it contained.
The Uttlesford District Council meeting learned that 17 machines had been targeted between April and September, each costing money, repair costs and causing missing revenue when the machine is out of order.
And today, eight out of ten parking meters are targeted.
Councilor Susan Barker had raised urgent questions in Uttlesford District Council about why changes had been made to the parking machines at Great Dunmow.
She said some people prefer to pay for their parking in cash rather than by cell phone or card.
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In response, Cllr Richard Freeman said: “There have been repeated and repeated acts of vandalism and thefts from parking meters in most of Uttlesford parking lots.”
He said he believed the stolen parking meter from the Swan Meadow parking lot in Saffron Walden was intended to allow thieves to learn where to “punch three holes in the right place”.
Cllr Freeman told the meeting that it costs £ 32,000 to fix the machines if they can get parts, that they have lost income as the parking lot ticket machine is not available and that they lost over £ 6,500 in cash.
“It takes six to eight weeks to get spare parts. It seemed like a very good idea to start upgrading the machines.
He admitted that some parking lots no longer accept cash. But he said residents don’t need a smartphone to pay at vending machines.
They can use a credit card or a debit card – these payments can be contactless or the card can be inserted into the machine to pay.
The meeting heard that a decision was made in 2016 that investment funds be set aside to replace machines across the district “to make ATMs sustainable.” This money had not been spent.
The trial of the new parking lot payment machines will run until December 15 and will then be reviewed.
The MiPermit cashless service is available online, by SMS or by phone – see www.mipermit.com
More information on parking in the neighborhood can be found at www.uttlesford.gov.uk/parking