Suspension for security firm boss
A DIRECTOR of a Cornish security firm has been suspended.
It follows a series of complaints levelled against Armtrac Security Services, which have been revealed by the West Briton.
The firm is also being investigated by the security business regulator, British Parking Association (BPA) and has been brought to the attention of the transport minister.
In a statement the BPA said: "We investigate all enquiries we receive relating to members of our approved operator scheme (AOS), following an enquiry we are currently investigating Armtrac.
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"We have a robust sanctions scheme in place and members who are found to have breached our code of practice will receive sanctions points which may lead to them being expelled from the AOS."
Kris Kinson, who had a 3 per cent share in Armtrac, was suspended by fellow directors last week.
The firm hit the headlines in June and earlier this month after it admitted wrongly ticketing motorists at car parks in Truro and Falmouth.
Crisis talks were held with nine members of staff at the Penzance-based firm who feared their jobs were under threat as a result of Mr Kinson's suspension.
The director with the majority shareholding, who we have currently agreed not to name, took over Armtrac and its fleet of vehicles last year. The company manages 350 car parks in Cornwall. He said he had been dismayed by the complaints levelled at his firm and that he was winding up its parent company, KBT Cornwall Ltd, and establishing a new company to oversee Armtrac's operation.
He said: "We suspended him (Mr Kinson) and have instructed a barrister to handle the issue. No jobs are at risk. I met with staff last week and explained that their jobs are safe. I want to salvage the firm's reputation. I could have closed it down but it is a good business and I want to ensure it is being run properly."
He also pledged to reimburse motorists who had been wrongly ticketed by Armtrac while using the Discovery Quay car park in Falmouth.
Customers contacted the West Briton saying they had been fined even though its ticketing machine was faulty and they could not pay the parking charge. The car park owner, Terry Barnes of New Cornwall Development, said he had ceased his contract with Armtrac on November 11.
Armtrac's director added: "We have not lost any contracts as a result of the complaints. Anybody who has a legitimate appeal or who has paid when they shouldn't as a result of the faulty machine at Falmouth car park will be reimbursed."
When asked about his departure Mr Kinson said: "No comment."
MP for Truro and Falmouth Sarah Newton said she had received a number of complaints from residents and visitors about Armtrac.