Crackdown on cowboy wheel clampers

As part of new legislation there will be a crackdown on "rogue" wheel clampers, the Government has announced.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said wheel clamping companies should be licensed by the industry regulator and wants to make the appeals process easier for motorists who believe they have not been treated fairly.

The moves are aimed at ending practices which "rogue" clampers use, including high release fees, not implementing clear signs warning clamping is in operation and towing away vehicles too quickly.

Ms Smith said: "The licensing of individual wheel clampers has gone a long way to reducing criminality and improving standards in the industry, but it has become clear that the existing licensing scheme does not address all the concerns the public have.

"There are clearly a minority of clamping companies indulging in unacceptable behaviour including unclear signage and excessive fees."

She said this is why ministers are going to carefully look at how a compulsory licensing scheme for clamping firms can be introduced, adding that proposals would be published soon.

At present individual clampers and bosses have to have a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA). But the proposals would mean the firm itself must be licensed and comply with a code of conduct.

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