Normally I try to avoid Centro, they are a particularly vile way to shop, crowded, smelly, they treat their employees like vermin. There’s a whole list of reasons not to bother, but this week my Nan is in town and bless her, the old girl likes to shop.
She’s 85 not-out and since she had a stroke a couple of years back, not as spry on her pins as she once was.
She’s entitled to disabled parking (and needs it) so I hunted around for a disabled parking space.
To my great ire I wasn’t able to find one vacant and went around for a fourth lap.
Clearly there is inadequate disabled parking in the Centro car park, but on closer inspection, I found to my increasing fury there were a number of cars occupying disabled spaces without a permit displayed.
Obviously it’s POSSIBLE that the occupant of the car was legitimately entitled and had just forgotten their card, sure, I don’t have a problem with that.
In any rate, I decided to make enquiries about it, the only Centro employee I could find was some African dude who didn’t speak English…helpful!!
I left Nan in the care of my Mum for a while and set off to get to the bottom of this farce.
After some searching I located the office of Centro management, when I informed them that the disabled parking they had on the premises was being illegally occupied, surprise surprise I got the standard barrage of rhetoric “oh we don’t enforce that, that’s the police’s responsibility”
Nice, apparently Centro will happily spit all over worker’s rights to employ new migrants to collect trolleys at a rate of pay below the poverty line, but that’s the extent of their involvement, park in a disabled space, set a toddler on fire or open up into a crowd with a 50 calibre machine gun for that matter…Centro don’t care, as long as you don’t actually do it WITHIN the hallowed confines of their shopping mall.
Anyway, not to be perturbed on our return to the car I noticed that there was one woman sitting in her car, occupying a disabled space nary a permit in sight so I decided to approach her.
“Oh, yeah, I’m just waiting for someone, I’ll move….”
Verminous slug just decided she was more entitled to the space than someone without legs and decided to park her barge-arse there.
As luck would have it, there happened to be a police car rolling by, I took down her licence plate number and flagged him down (actually I had to chase him down, apparently basic observation skills like noticing someone yelling and waving their arms in the air isn’t covered in basic training at the academy).
It was clear this particular copper thought handing out a parking ticket (even to a scum-bag low enough to steal a disabled parking space) was beneath him.
While he spent his “valuable” time quizzing me about make, model, state of issue of registration (I kid you not) and indeed whether or not I had been drinking, she-to-whom Dennis Leary immortalised in song, made a clean getaway.
I indicated that I was prepared to make a statement, testify in court if needs be and there was no question that I had the registration number, but given that I was unsure about the state of origin of the registration he decided “not to pursue the matter”.
Very bloody weak.
Now I’m no parking Nazi, if someone parks in a 30 minute space for 45, who cares? certainly not me.
I think most parking infringement notices are a revenue raising excercise, plain and simple, but stealing a disabled parking space?
No, that’s low.
I’m not done with this issue, I will be speaking to someone from the council who deals with parking infringement notices today and I haven’t ruled out the possibility of getting myself a digital camera and turning “parking vigilante”, taking photos of cars parked illegally which shows both the location and the registration number, it may however come to nothing if I can’t do anything to redress the tsunami of bureaucratic and authoritarian indifference on this issue.
I think you’ll agree, it’s a bloody disgrace.