In June 1987, the City Council of Karlshamn decided that parking monitoring should be carried out by municipal staff. But for about ten years, the municipality has acted against its own decision and let parking guards employed by a private company patch cars.

This means that around 37,000 parking fines worth more than SEK 17 million that have been issued in Karlshamn lack legal support. The error was discovered by the police.

"We did a review of all municipal decisions in the South region and with regard to Karlshamn we concluded that their municipal decision was not correct," says Peter Saarman, group manager at the police justice unit Syd.

Made a new decision

After the police alerted the municipality to the error, a new decision was made in the municipal council in June 2019, which also allows people who are not municipal employees to issue parking fines.

- Two parties, the municipality and the police, are responsible for this being the right way. It is only to be regretted that this has not been really state-established from the beginning, says Mats Dahlbom (C), chairman of the technology and leisure committee.

Mats Dahlbom (C), chairman of the Technology and Leisure Committee thinks that the police's investigation is good. - I think they would have done it even earlier, since the police are a control authority. Then you should not blame each other, both parties have a part in that it is handled properly, he says. Photo: SVT

Payless to contest

But despite the fact that the parking notes issued had no legal support - it is unprofitable for motorists to contest the police fine with the police. This must be done no later than six months after payment, which means that the deadline has expired.

- All parking notes that have been distributed have, as I understand it, been in any case correct. So you have done something wrong, says Mats Dahlbom (C).

For motorists who want to claim the money back anyway - a trial of the issue in court is the only option.

Errors discovered in several municipalities

In the police investigation of the municipalities in the south region, errors were also discovered in Helsingborg where the municipality - like Karlshamn - lacked correct decisions regarding parking supervision. According to statistics that SVT News Helsingborg and Plus have produced, these are about 355,000 parking notes worth SEK 185 million that were incorrectly issued in Helsingborg.

Police began the investigation after a dispute in the High Court where a motorist received the money back for a fine issued in Höganäs - where the municipality had not had competent parking guards for several years.