Clamping Cowboys Set For Return?

Mon 19th Oct 2020

Private parking firms are pushing the government for permission to begin clamping vehicles as part of a consultation on a code of conduct for parking enforcement.

The companies are claiming that fines alone are not enough of a deterrent for motorists and want additional powers which would allow them to clamp and tow vehicles parked on private land.

The practice has been banned in the UK since 2012 after the government introduced legislation under the Protection of Freedoms Act, with the aim of clamping down on rogue operators who charged extortionate fees for the removal of clamps.

An investigation by the AA has found that many private parking companies are now lobbying government for a return to clamping and asking for the practice to be included in a new code of practice aimed at regulating the industry.

“Clamping is an abhorrent practice that we thought was long gone, but clearly the intent from some parking firms has never gone away,” said AA president, Edmund King.

“Horror stories of days gone by of enforcers requesting gold teeth in lieu of payment, clamping a hearse with the corpse in the back, holding a young child hostage until extortionate payments are made and other disgraceful acts, could be just around the corner.

“This now brings us to a duel at High Noon. 

“Clamping cannot return under any circumstances. The Government has the chance to stop rogue firms in their tracks. We hope they do so quickly and forcefully.

“We also need a simplified and transparent private parking system with a totally independent appeals service so that there is no chance of cowboy parking companies acting as judge and jury.”