Automation delivers real-time enforcement solution with complete geographic flexibility
An advanced enforcement management and processing system, developed for one of Ireland’s largest parking management operations, is delivering unprecedented levels of efficiency and service standards across an area more than 60 times the size of Greater London.
The new solution adopted by Nationwide Controlled Parking Systems (NCPS) has been developed in partnership with Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions (ICES) and data communication specialists, Sremium. It employs GPS, GPRS, ANPR and IVR technologies – with all mobile enforcement officers linked directly to a central control room – to deliver real-time enforcement processing and payment recovery for more than 850 car parks in all areas of the Republic.
“The early adoption of ‘Best Practice’ principles really transformed our business and we have grown dramatically over the past 5 or 6 years,” says NCPS Managing Director, Jason Ballard. “However, our ability to maintain consistently high service standards for our growing number of clients and members of the public across such a huge geographical area was quite a challenge. Now, thanks to the pioneering work we’ve undertaken in partnership with ICES and Sremium, we have a fail-safe automated system that is not only fast, accurate and responsive, but which is also delivering previously unachievable service efficiencies.”
Regarding the entire country as one large local authority, Jason and his colleagues now have a control system where enforcement notices at any client car park anywhere in the country – with corresponding photos of the parking contravention – are logged in the Dublin-based Control Room within minutes of a notice being issued.
All enforcement officers use Casio DTX30 handheld units supplied by ICES, with ANPR capability and a built-in camera, and vehicles which have also been fitted with GPS tracking. This enables the location of every mobile officer to be monitored on the wall screen of the Control Room so that supervisors can issue instructions to the nearest enforcement officer for any required task at any of car parks managed by the company at any time during the working day.
Using GPRS data communication, all enforcement notices are automatically developed in real time and can then be tracked and managed by the ICES’ Parking Gateway software system. This has eliminated any delays and issues arising from data downloads at the end of each day.
In cases such as no ticket, expired ticket or unauthorised use of a disabled parking bay, wheel clamps are fitted at the time of issue of the enforcement notice. The vehicle will only be released once the owner has met the penalty payment. However, because of the IVR telephone payment system, real-time processing of all notices and real-time location monitoring of all Enforcement Officers, vehicle release rarely takes longer than 30 minutes after payment has been confirmed.
“No-one likes to receive an enforcement notice and to have their car disabled,” continues Jason. “But, the majority of contraventions are indisputable, especially when clear car park signage is in place and instantaneous photographic evidence is available. Because the new system provides an immediate and convenient payment arrangement which is automatically confirmed in the Control Room, we are able to advise the nearest enforcement officer within a matter of minutes when a vehicle can be released. This level of efficiency helps to minimise inconvenience for owners of offending vehicles while also maximising recovery rates for our clients”.
The success of the new system has prompted NCPS to extend its back office processing with the introduction of Permit Gateway for the management and allocation of more than 20,000 permits a year and in preparation for the imminent introduction of a ‘virtual permit’ system. It is also finalising the development of a new ‘Park by Text’ mobile phone payment system, following a highly successful pilot scheme undertaken during the summer.
ICES – Dublin 2 (300 x 210).jpg Jason Ballard took over the running of NCPS just over ten years ago when the company was entirely reliant on manual procedures. With the benefit of his extensive experience in parking enforcement within London local authorities and Dublin City Council, the company has grown exponentially. Clients now include Irish Rail, major retail complexes, hospitals, and universities as well as local authorities and residential property management companies all over the Republic.
It now has over a 100 members of staff and consistently features in the Top 20 of the country’s best companies “Greater automation and the development and introduction of real-time processing and management for all of our parking enforcement operations was a logical step forward for the business,” adds Jason. “As a proven fail-safe system we believe it will now play a major role in the company’s future development and enable us to take full advantage of new generation technologies in the years ahead as we look to optimise our customer service standards.”