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From October 1st it will become a criminal offence to clamp on private land as the Protection of Freedoms Act comes into force
Cowboy clamping on private land will finally be outlawed in two weeks time, thanks to a concerted campaign by the AA.
From October 1st it will become a criminal offence to clamp on private land as the Protection of Freedoms Act* comes into force.
The AA has been monitoring the problems caused by wheel clamping on private land ever since the issue first arose in the late 1980’s.
Motoring groups have been campaigning on the issue ever since and Edmund King, AA president has taken a particular interest in the subject which has resulted in several documentaries and undercover news reports to expose the excesses**.
The AA Clamping Dossier contains thousands of horrific cases of clamping over the last twenty years
Edmund King’s Top Ten Worst Clamping Cases include:
The British Parking Association (BPA) has advised members not to clamp vehicles after the 16 September; however the AA still warns drivers that clamping will continue over the next fortnight as the BPA does not cover all clampers.
This campaign had become a personal crusade for me over the last decade. The outright ban on wheel clamping on private land is a victory for justice and common sense
Edmund King, AA president
Edmund King, AA president said: “We are delighted that cowboy clampers will have to hang up their clamps in a fortnight. This campaign had become a personal crusade for me over the last decade. The outright ban on wheel clamping on private land is a victory for justice and common sense.
“We have been campaigning for a ban against this legalised mugging for many years. Too many clampers have been acting like modern day highwaymen for too long. Many elderly and vulnerable people have been ripped off by these callous cowboys. Clamping has been banned in Scotland since 1992 without problems.
“We have advised numerous people over the years about what to do when clamped. There seemed to be a spate of Friday nights when I would get calls from pensioners who had been clamped.
“I just pulled up on scrap land to deliver a letter to the working men’s club and was clamped. They are demanding £350 but I don’t have the money”.
“I stopped for 5 minutes to pay a 15p fine on a library book and the clampers say I owe £390”.
We have noticed that some of the cowboys, drinking in the last chance saloon, are cashing in*** before they are finally outlawed so we advise drivers to be particularly vigilant over the next two weeks.
The AA has always argued that motorists should not park where they like but believe that in the 21st Century there are more humane ways to regulate parking.
The AA also warns that many clampers will try to shift their business to bogus parking tickets on private land. An independent appeals service is due to be set up but the AA still has concerns about how effective this will be.
Some of the tactics of cowboy clampers have included:
(17 September 2012)
*The Protection of Freedoms Act comes into force on 1 October 2012
Clamping has not been banned in all circumstances. The clamping ban will apply on all private land in England and Wales unless there is some other ‘lawful authority’ in place which allows clamping and or removal of vehicles. This includes some private land which belongs to local authorities, some railway or airport car parks. Clamping and towing away on private land has been banned in Scotland since 1992. In Northern Ireland the ban will not apply.
*** Some recent clamping cases include: