Clamping on private land

AA concerns to be raised in Parliament

Evidence continues to reach the AA of totally unscrupulous practices on the part of some clampers

11 June 2010

Clampers continue to clamp with impunity, despite the introduction of the Crime and Security Act, according to the AA. Urgent regulations need to be introduced to make the Act effective.

The issue is to be raised in an adjournment debate next Tuesday (15) by long-term anti clamping campaigner, Rosie Winterton MP, who helped push for the legislation.

The AA has published a briefing for the adjournment debate in the House of Commons on the 15 June. The AA says that some wheel clampers who operate on private land are using their Security Industry Authority Licence as a licence to print money. Evidence continues to reach the AA of totally unscrupulous practices on the part of some clampers who continue to:

  • Conceal signage
  • Use decoy vehicles
  • Target vulnerable people, for example the elderly or women with children
  • Charge double or treble the amount they legally can (they often charge for vehicle removal even though this does not happen and sometimes charge a penalty on top)
  • Refuse any form of appeal
  • Refuse to answer complaints
  • Hide behind PO box numbers and use mobile telephones
  • Abuse 'contracts' with landowners by being over zealous against the landowner's wishes

Edmund King, AA president said: "We welcome this debate which will hopefully nail down once and for all the next steps needed to ensure we stop the scourge of these modern day highway men who deprive people of their cars and demand unfair amounts of cash for their return.

"The fact that a clamper in the Midlands was jailed recently highlights the scale this problem has reached. The public have a right to be treated humanely when they make minor parking mistakes. The law must afford people protection. No time should be lost in the Home Office making new regulation under the 2010 Crime and Security Act."

Rosie Winterton MP who has been briefed by the AA said: "I believe that for too long cowboy clampers have been getting away with too much in Doncaster – causing havoc to motorists. I want clamping companies to get into line and stop their unfair practices once and for all."

Drivers continue to be terrorised by a small but active number of unscrupulous wheel clampers so quick and decisive action from the new coalition government is needed as new regulations must be a priority.

The AA believes we need the licensing of clamping businesses, a mandatory code of practice and an independent appeal process.

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11 June 2010