A parking fine in Glasgow is £30 if paid promptly, £60 otherwise. Our entrepreneurs have other ideas. They’ll sell you a used parking ticket with a specific time on it for a tenner, which you can send to the council to “prove” that you were wrongly fined.
If you park your car or walk through the Osborne St car park near my flat, you are quickly approached by one or more rough looking types asking if there is any time left on your parking ticket. They’re rude and slightly threatening, so most people give up their used ticket. If it’s valid for any significant amount of time (ie. you’ve paid for the whole day or a several hour stretch and there is time remaining) they will stand by the ticket machine and sell your ticket on to the next punter. They’re not the type of people you say no to so they no doubt do a roaring trade.
But that’s not all. If you protest that your parking ticket is about to expire and is therefore useless they’ll demand it anyway. Why? This is where it gets interesting.
When the parking inspectors come past the thugs keep a keen eye on which cars they catch. On a driver returning to their car and discovering that they’ve been fined the thugs move in.