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CURBS ON 'GREEDY' PRIVATE CAR CLAMPERS

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The home office is drawing up new rules on wheel clamping to stop companies charging extortionate fees to release t...
The home office is drawing up new rules on wheel clamping to stop companies charging extortionate fees to release their cars from private land, reported The Sunday Telegraph (p8).

Under the plans, aimed to regulate the industry, private companies will not be allowed to charge drivers to charge more than£50 to release a car. At present there is no limit and some firms charge

more than£200, the cost often escalating if it is not paid within hours.

Victims of clamping will have the right of appeal and clamping companies will have to prove they have followed the guidelines. It is also likely that local authorities will be given powers to license car

park security companies, and firms that flout the law will be banned from clamping.

At present it is legal for a company to put warning signs on private ground and then clamp anyone who parks there. The clamping company does not need to own the land and in many cases the landowner does not know clamping is being enforced.

To attempt to remove the clamp is illegal - it is classed as criminal damage. The police cannot get involved in clamping on private land because it is a civil matter. To make matters worse, many clamping firms can be only contacted on mobile phone numbers or through post office boxes, so it is not possible to identify who is demanding the money or to take court action to remove clamps and recover cars.

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