‘I can’t believe it’: Chobham man, 82, receives 44 PCNs after number plate duplication

An 82-year-old gardener has received 44 Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) from two South London councils despite never having entered the boroughs.

Peter Silva of Back of Highstreet, Chobam, received his first PCN from Lambeth council in January. 

For the last five months Mr Silva’s son and his next door neighbour Tony Edie, 77, have appealed 44 PCN notices, 43 of which came from Lambeth council with one from Southwark council.

Mr Edie said: “When we got the first fine we saw the registration number was the same and it was a white van like Peter’s.

“Peter thought someone had nicked his van – but the photographs show it had a different roof rack and panels. 

“I had to send in a picture of his white van to appeal the PCN.”

Mr Silva’s van with a roof rack (Picture: Peter Silva)

Mr Silva received three more penalty charges for the white van.

Mr Edie said: “Then whoever owns the number plate transferred it to a saloon car, so the remaining 40 PCN’s show a black car.

“I can’t believe it myself really.

“The guy who owns the car might not even know it’s a cloned number plate.”

Mr Edie said he sent off the appeals in 12 batches across the last five months.

He said: “Eventually we got letters back saying they had been cancelled – all apart from one.”

A white van with Mr Silva’s number plate but no roof rack, caught driving through a restricted zone in Lambeth (Picture: Tony Edie)

The PCN from Lambeth council, dated April 17, relates to the Black Citroen Saloon car with Mr Silva’s number plate driving through the prohibited Palace Road.

Mr Edie said: “We replied as soon as the PCN came in but they must have just missed it.”

Despite their appeal, Mr Silva received a charge certificate for £195 from Lambeth two weeks ago.

Mr Edie said: “Peter had just spent £300 on a new number plate and we finally thought this would all be over.

“I’ve tried everything – I emailed Lambeth parking but got no response, I tried every telephone number but there was no one who would speak to me about it.”

All the PCN’s Mr Silva has received since January came in at £65, by successfully appealing 43, Mr Edie has saved his neighbour £2,795 in wrongful fines.

The Black citeron saloon with Mr Silva’s number plate which racked up 40 PCN charges (Picture: Tony Edie)

Mr Edie said: “We’ve avoided a lot but I feel for the poor chap.

“I’m up for tackling it but if this had happened to someone more frail, the stress of receiving 44 fines could have been serious.”

Mr Edie said he is disappointed with Lambeth council’s failure to respond to the appeal.

He said: “Southwark at least came back to say they were sorry and realise how frustrating it must be for him and we even got a letter from TfL apologising.

“All they have to do is look back at their own evidence and see it’s not Peter’s car – it’s completely useless.”

A spokesman from Lambeth councils said: “This is a case of fraud which has a serious impact on victims, and something we take very seriously. We have reviewed the concerns raised and found that there are two outstanding penalty charge notices which were cancelled some time ago and letters were sent.”

Pictured top: From left, Peter Silva and Tony Edie (Picture: Tony Edie)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.