A DOMESTIC violence survivor who is living in hiding claims her family’s safety was “sold down the river” for just £2.50.
The St Helens mother-of-four, who asked to remain anonymous, told of her anger after receiving a parking ticket for parking outside a bay at Ravenhead Retail Park.
She says she is now terrified her abusive ex will track her down after the DVLA used her car’s registration number to pass on her name and address to private parking firm UKCPS.
She said: “The DVLA have put me and my children in danger. My contact details are out there now and there’s no way of knowing who they will be passed on to. I can’t believe we have been sold down the river for just £2.50.
“I was so shocked to find out that parking firms can buy personal details that I wrote to Shaun Woodward MP to ask why this is not covered by the Data Protection Act. I felt violated.
“Apparently if there’s ‘just cause’ the DVLA can sell your details on - but who are they to decide? Mr Woodward also told me that domestic violence sufferers can have a marker put on their number plate to ensure that they are informed about their personal details being requested.
“It’s not a way of dodging fines though – just a way of protecting your identity.”
She added: “I’m desperate to stop my ex finding me but I can’t afford to move house or sell my car to protect myself.
“However, I hope my experience can help protect other people who are in the same position. I’ve already had to change my car once because I kept being followed.
“It was far too easy to get hold of my details.”
A DVLA spokesperson confirmed that “additional safeguards” can be applied to a vehicle record if an application is made in writing - including a crime reference number, if available.
They also allayed fears that private parking firms can sell on personal details to third parties.
They said: “We take our responsibility to protect the information we hold very seriously. Where there is a risk to an individual’s personal safety we have additional safeguards in place to ensure that information is only provided where appropriate.
“These safeguards have been in place since the 1970s and all requests are considered on a case by case basis.”