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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007, 13:15 GMT
Threat of 500 fine over lost car
Alexandra Crook
Ms Crook suffered acute whiplash
A woman was threatened with 500 worth of parking fines when police lost her car following a road accident.

Alexandra Crook, 22, suffered whiplash when her car was hit in Hammersmith, west London, on 23 October 2006.

She said police did not initially know where her car was. It was found illegally parked - with parking tickets - four days later.

Westminster City Council has apologised and waived the fines. The Metropolitan Police has also apologised.

Ms Crook, from St John's Wood, north-west London, said as she was taken by ambulance to hospital after the crash, police took her car.

When she was released, she tried to retrieve her vehicle but police kept telling her they did not know where it was.

Several days later officers called to say the car was parked behind Paddington Green Police Station.

I had acute whiplash and was in a brace and I had to spend hours on the phone to police trying to find my car
Alexandra Crook

When she went to collect it, Ms Crook found three parking tickets and appealed against the fines.

But Westminster City Council rejected the appeal and said there were in fact five tickets, worth 100 each.

"I had acute whiplash and was in a brace and I had to spend hours on the phone to police trying to find my car," said Ms Crook.

"They kept shifting the responsibility, one police station blamed another."

The Metropolitan Police has apologised, blaming an administrative error.

"Those involved will be spoken to ensure that this does not happen again in the future," a spokesman said.

A spokesman for Westminster Council said the initial appeal failed due to a problem with the crime reference number.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused," he said.

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