Judge sends UK clampers to jail

| 28/11/2010

(BBC): A member of a "criminal" car-clamping company which operated in Birmingham has been jailed for four years. The city’s crown court heard Gary Southall, 49, of Moseley, extorted up to £500,000 from motorists. Two others from the firm were also jailed. At a previous hearing, he and three more members of the firm pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud. Earlier this year Birmingham City Council refused £1,300 in pennies with which Southall tried to pay a fine. Gary Southall’s brother Wayne, 41, of Tyseley Lane, Tyseley, was given two years while his girlfriend, Victoria Charlton, of Heather Dale, Moseley, was given a suspended 12-month jail sentence and ordered to do 200 hours of community service.

Another member of the firm, Philip Bennett, 34, of College Road, Saltley, was jailed for 18 months. The council had fined Gary Southall for clamping vehicles without providing his business contact details on receipts to motorists.

Birmingham Crown Court heard how cars which had not been clamped were parked as "traps" to entice people to leave vehicles in areas patrolled by the National Parking Control.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Park only where you will get a $25 ticket

  2. 5% says:

    i will rather get a ticket from the police its only $25 dollars and you can happily get on with your day!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    If wheel clamping is illegal in the UK it should be illegal in the Cayman Islands.Why has Samuel Bulgin not put a stop of this as yet. He’s upset the people enough  all too often, so can’t he at least leave office with drafting and introducing one piece of legislation to make  THE PEOPLE HAPPY? Just ONCE?

    Come on Attorney General. You don’t need public input on this one.




    • Anonymous says:

      Its not illegal in the UK.  Its soon to be illegal on private land but introduction of the Freedom Bill has been delayed until Feb 2011 and the ban will not take effect until this bill is introduced.  The ban will not change existing traffic enforcement by local authorities and police on highways, and local authorities, particularly in London, just love to engage the services of wheel clampers!

      More info here: http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/vehicle-immobiliser-ban.aspx

      • John Evans says:

        The big difference between clamping operations run entirely by private companies and those contracted to, or operated by, public authorities is that the latter must comply with EHRC meaning that (in theory, it’s never quite that simple) people who get themselves clamped have a proper right of appeal to an independant body. This is like parking tickets, which can be successfully appealed and overturned.

        The other difference is that public authorities tend to use their powers to enforce the law rather than to impose arbitrary parking restrictions and make a profit from it.

        The problem in England right now, as I suspect it is in Cayman, is that the clamping firms over here are totally out of control – they are the achitects of their own demise.

        I was in on this story at the very beginning over 20 years ago when clampers were impounding vehicles that stopped for 2 minutes to load up shopping. Since then they have clamped emergency vehicles, doctor’s cars, people showing disabled badges, vehicles awaiting recovery after accidents and just about everything they can to earn public hatred. One even clamped a car after the elderly driver had suffered a fatal heart attack and was still sitting in the driver’s seat.

        At the height of the press interest we got hit with a court injunction that tried to stop the media photographing or filming clamping operations because the negative publicity was causing embarrassment to the property owner. This was after we caught one company clamping vehicles in the clearly marked ‘two hour free parking’ area just 10 minutes after the occupants had left them.

        Even without a change in the law there is a simple way to deal with this if you want to – just don’t use businesses that employ wheel clampers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wheel clamping is not illegal in the UK, far from it, it is far more widespread than Cayman, however for a person to legally get clamped, there needs to be clear signs explaining this in any areas where clamping takes place, and monies demanded by clampers must be clearly stated on the signs and receipts given for any monies paid to ensure there was a paper trail to keep things above board.

      If you bothered to read the article you would have seen that this company and it’s officials were prosecuted for the way they extorted money from victims by overcharging and charging extra fees and then not supplying proper receipts so that victims had no trail and no way of disputing the charges which they should be able to do so if they honsetly believed they were clamped illegally.

      In Cayman they need to clamp down a lot heavier on the lazy drivers that risk the safety of others by parking illegally by the kerbside thuis causing traffic disruptions and forcing other vehicles to swerve around them and risk hitting pedestrians that may be trying to cross but whose view of oncoming traffic is now blocked.

      People outside (for instance) Hurleys that are too lazy to walk 20 metres to a parking bay should be hit with massive fines to stop them being so lazy. Just because they are fat doesn’t give them an excuse.

  4. Kung Fu Iguana says:

    Almost all the clampers in George Town are operating illegally because their signs are inadequate to support the placing of a clamp or to charge for the removal of the clamp.

  5. pop a top again says:

     u cant even get parking in town with these guys got there signs all over the place i think i will just ride a bicycle in town i can find parking with that and they dont have no authority to look it either there has to be a law of what these guys are doing is illegal

  6. John Evans says:

    This isn’t the first time that the courts over here have jailed wheel clampers.

    The problem with this activity is that it seems to attract the least desirable elements in society. Attempts to regulate the industry have, as this case shows, failed to solve the problems.

    The whole practice is due to be banned on private property in England  shortly, it’s already illegal in Scotland where nearly 20 years ago the courts ruled it constituted extortion and theft.

  7. article Dan says:

     No worries man the company involved here has the "Gowernment" in its pocket and all security related contracts not only can they lock your wheels without a problem, they will be able to watch you park and then lock it shortly  You know how go, Just easy like Sunday Morning Mo Money mo money BIg Wheels and big Deals. The UK only applies certain rules here when it is to their economic advantage to apply them, When will Cayman learn this and stop dreaming.

  8. A Concerned Young Caymanian Father says:

    Hopefully, they’ll do this to the morons down here doing the same thing!

    • noname says:

      The morons they need to lock up here are the ones that are too damn lazy to park in a parking lot and walk an extra 50 feet in to the supermarket and insist on blocking up the roadway instead. Only a matter of time before someone gets killed as a result.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t forget the elected officials who encourage illegal parking. They should be locked up too.

  9. anonymous says:

    I am wondering when they will begin jailing that little man out there who is taking people money illegally.  If the Law does not look into him, something serious will happen one day.