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Caped parking vigilante targets tribunal in Islington

PUBLISHED: 11:20 14 February 2014 | UPDATED: 14:47 14 February 2014

The Black Beret rides again Pic: Dieter Perry

The Black Beret rides again Pic: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

A caped parking vigilante who terrorised the town hall has set his sights on a new target.

The Black Beret, real name unknown, has now picked a fight with the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) and demonstrated outside their offices in Angel Mews, Islington, on Friday over what he calls an “inadequate and inefficient” service.

PATAS settles disputes between authorities – like Islington Council – and drivers over penalty charge notices.

But the superhero, also known as le Beret Noir, claims the outcomes are a “bloody lottery” because different adjudicators will come to different decisions based on the same evidence.

He said: “I am the Black Beret and I have had to come in disguise because I am a parking campaigner and I need to protect my identity and those I help.

“I am campaigning today about the inefficiency, inadequacy and lack of impartiality of PATAS

“Their adjudicators are inconsistent and I want the legislation changed and this body is properly independent and answerable to somebody.

“At the moment its a bloody lottery.

“I am fighting for the oppressed motorist. The only way for the system to change for better is to cut off its head.”

During his appearance outside the body’s headquarters he distributed leaflets to members of the public and people on their way in to contest a ticket.

The pamphlet claims on of PATAS’ own adjudicators said in relation to one case: “I recognise in refusing this appeal I am making a decision contrary to that of a fellow adjudicator, and that such inconsistency raised problems for both motorists and enforcement authorities.”

The Black Beret hit the headlines last year when he campaigned outside Islington Town Hall, in Upper Street, Islington, because of what he claimed were missing words on the back of the borough’s parking tickets that rendered them invalid.

A PATAS spokesman said: “We provides an independent appeals service and each case is assessed on its own merits, based on the evidence supplied by both parties.

“As with all tribunals and lower courts, no decisions made by an individual adjudicator set any legal precedent.”


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