Clamping Law on private property
A Government ban on wheel clamping, towing or blocking in without lawful authority in England and Wales is now in force (as of 1 October 2012). These provisions, in section 54 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, end abuses by rogue clamping firms who have preyed on motorists by charging excessive release fees, displaying unclear signage and resorting too readily to the towing away of vehicles. It is now an offence to clamp, tow, block in or otherwise immobilise a vehicle without lawful authority in England and Wales.
A ban on clamping has been in place in Scotland since 1992. The Northern Ireland Minister of Justice has conducted a public consultation on the future regulation of the private security industry in Northern Ireland which asked whether clamping, towing or blocking in should be banned on private land in Northern Ireland. Until such time as Northern Ireland decides to introduce a ban, it will not apply to Northern Ireland and Security Industry Authority licensing will continue for Northern Ireland vehicle immobiliser operators.
To be guilty of the offence, the person immobilising or moving the vehicle must intend to prevent or inhibit the removal of the vehicle by its driver or owner, whether or not there is any intent to demand a fee for release of the vehicle. The maximum penalty for the offence is an unlimited fine on conviction in the crown court; or a fine of up to the statutory maximum [currently £5,000] in the Magistrates‟ court. Any questions on how to apply the law in individual cases should be referred to an independent legal advisor.
For more information please refer to the following information:
Protection of Freedoms act 2012 schedule 4
PROTECTION OF FREEDOMS BILL Fact Sheet
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