LAST October Government rules banning wheel-clamping and towing away took effect and Thurrock Council’s public protection and trading standards teams are working to publicise the change.
It is now an offence to clamp, tow, block-in or immobilise a vehicle without proper authority on private land – under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
These changes will end abuses by rogue clamping firms who prey on motorists by charging excessive release fees. If clampers break the law, they could be liable to an unlimited fine in the Crown Court or up to £5,000 in a Magistrates Court.
The government plans were supported locally by South Chafford councillor, Tunde Ojetola who introduced a motion at council and was supported by Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price who lobbied hard for the change.
Cllr Ojetola said “I’m pleased that the council has followed my motion and implemented the Conservative led Government’s policy. Residents of Chafford can be reassured that illegal clamping will no longer be tolerated.”
Cllr Angie Gaywood, Thurrock Council’s portfolio holder for Public Protection said: “We want to empower motorists to resist illegal attempts to clamp their vehicles and then demand fees for release.
”This legislation gives motorists the protection they deserve against rogue wheel-clamping and towing companies.”
Anyone who gets clamped while parked on private land should contact Essex Police in the first instance on their non-emergency number 101, or alternatively call 01245 491491.