Rogue Wheel Clampers Face Compulsory Licensing

Rogue Wheel Clampers Face Compulsory Licensing

A tough new compulsory licensing scheme designed to rid England, Wales and
Northern Ireland of rogue wheel clampers, has been set out in the Crime and
Security Bill.

Proposals within the Bill will make it mandatory for all wheel clamping
businesses to be licensed under the terms of a strict code of conduct.  The code
will include a cap on fines, time limits on towing cars unreasonably quickly
after being clamped and set out clear instructions for putting up signs warning
drivers that clamping takes place.

Ministers are also looking to introduce an independent appeals process for
motorists who feel unfairly penalised by firms and their employees.

Any company which breaches the terms of their licence could lose their right
to practise and face up to five years in prison or a substantial fine.

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell, said:

“The Crime and Security Bill reflects the Government’s commitment to prevent
abuses by unscrupulous firms and their employees.

“There is no room within the wheel clamping industry for those who indulge in
unacceptable behaviour including unclear signage and excessive fees.

“A compulsory licensing scheme for operators will leave clamping firms in no
doubt as to their responsibility to the public and anyone breaching the strict
code of practice risks losing their licence.

“Firms will have to ensure signage is clear, fines are proportionate and
towing practices are regulated. We are also working to introduce an independent
appeals process for motorists who feel they have been unfairly
treated.”

Sadiq Khan, Transport Minister, said:

“These tough new proposals are part of a series of measures the Government is
putting in place to tackle the scourge of rogue parking firms who harass and
intimidate motorists.

“We have already taken action to restrict access for parking firms wanting
driver information and by bringing in these new requirements for clamping firms
we are sending a clear message to unscrupulous firms that they need to clean up
their act if they want to stay in business.”

The new legislation has been drawn up following discussions with motoring
groups, industry representatives and a 12-week public consultation during the
summer.  Currently, any individual undertaking wheel clamping must hold a
frontline licence from the Security Industry Authority, with supervisors or
directors holding a non-frontline licence.

The new Compulsory Licensing Scheme will extend responsibility from
individuals to businesses.  It will be administered and controlled by the
Security Industry Authority, which regulates the private security industry in
Great Britain under the Private Security Industry Act 2001, and reports to the
Home Secretary.