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Private car park clamp 'cowboys' getting the boot

By Stroud Life  |  Posted: September 26, 2012

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COWBOY wheel clampers who will soon be outlawed could turn their attention to illegal parking ticket rackets, the AA warned.

From Monday, it will become a criminal offence to clamp on private land as the Protection of Freedoms Act comes into force.

The AA, which campaigned to have the cowboys banned, said the illegal clampers might try to shift their business to bogus parking tickets on private land. AA president Edmund King warned drivers to be particularly vigilant about where they park until the ban takes effect.

The new clamping law applies to England and Wales only. Clamping and towing away on private land has been banned in Scotland since 1992.

The AA listed some of the worst cases of clamping:

● Clampers threaten to take a three-year-old girl hostage unless her mother paid the clamp ransom in Doncaster

● A hearse clamped with a body in the back on the way to a funeral

● Clampers demanded a gold tooth from a woman in lieu of payment

● Teenager left stranded overnight in Birmingham after a clamper demanded £300 for overstaying her ticket by 10 minutes after a concert;

● Marked police car clamped, with the clamper ending up with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order;

● AA patrol charged an extortionate £1,180 while fixing a woman's car.

Mr King said: "We are delighted cowboy clampers will have to hang up their clamps. The outright ban on wheel clamping on private land is a victory for justice and common sense.

"Too many clampers have been acting like modern-day highwaymen.We have noticed some of them are cashing in before they are finally outlawed so we advise drivers to be vigilant."

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