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Just been clamped!

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Hi all, firstly let me apologise for the length of this post!

 

Just to give you some background Im a university student on placement in Banbury. I had come home (Fleet, Hants) this weekend to see my parents and popped out to get a Subway. Im somewhat of a regular customer when Im at home so I parked in the same place I always do, a small gravel car park next to the shops that I had always thought was the customer car park. I had never seen any signs before indicating it was a private car park and that clampers were operating. There were a couple of cars already parked so I tucked mine down the side of the building out of the way. Anyway, I came back after about 1-2 mins and there was a clamp on my car! I had a quick look around and saw 2 large men marching over to me, and one says quite bluntly "that'll be £150 release fee."

 

My instant reaction was to demand where the signs were, the guy said that there was one on the entrance and one around the back of the building and that by law that was all they needed. I said that I didn't see any signs so the guy pointed them out to me.. there was one right on the back of this building, a white sign on a white wall! And another one on the entrance, nailed about 8-10 feet up the wall. The entrance to this car park is between two parades of shops so it is just about wide enough to get a car down and there's no way you would ever see the sign. So I said that the signs weren't correctly placed, that I was very suspicious and would be calling the police. The guy snapped "they won't bother coming down, it's a civil matter!" As I was walking away.

 

I walked back over and asked how long the car park had been a clamping zone, as when Im in Fleet I go there pretty regularly and have never had any problems. The guy said it had been about a week. So I asked where they were hiding when I came in, as they must have been so quick getting the thing on. The guy went on to explain that they were pulling in to the car park as I walked out! I remembered that I had seen this van come in, no obvious markings, and squeezed past it on my way out. The guy even had his window open! So I asked why they didn't mention it was a private car park and he said that I didn't look like the sort to be parking there. Which is complete rubbish as I remember seeing them pulling in and they must have seen me walking away from my car!

 

So, I called the police and the woman was very sympathetic. She took the time to get all the details and said that she would get an officer to call me back as soon as possible. She also said that if they become aggressive to call them back. So, I waited for a few mins (ate my sandwich) and the policeman called. I gave him the story and in a nutshell, he said that the clampers wouldn't have warned me since that's how they make their money, and that they can't request them to remove the clamps anymore. So I would have to pay up and make my appeal through the public courts. He was very helpful though and gave me a whole load of advice about how to claim and what details I would need from them.

 

So armed with this info I went round the car park and took some pictures of the signs and of my car. Ill share the pics with you as they demonstrate my point quite nicely.

 

This is where my car was parked, just tucked out of the way down the side of a building. No signs visible.

IMG_0127.jpg

 

From the back.

IMG_0129.jpg

 

And this is what you can see from the car, no signs! You can just about see the wall that the sign is nailed to, on the left.

IMG_0128.jpg

 

This is the sign round the back, white sign on a white wall.. nice and visible!

IMG_0130.jpg

 

And you can see where I parked, no way I could have seen it.

IMG_0131.jpg

 

This is the entrance (you can see them lurking in the far corner) showing the sign. No way you would see it! As I said, the entrance is too narrow and the sign too high up to be easily seen.

IMG_0132.jpg

 

This is it from the opposite wall, you can see how high up it is.

IMG_0133.jpg

 

And this is it from the exit. Barely visible.

IMG_0134.jpg

 

Driving out of the car park, I decided to take a picture of what you can see from inside the car. I had to reverse back quite a way before I could actually get it in the picture!

IMG_0136.jpg

 

And the clamp.

IMG_0135.jpg

 

 

So then I went to speak to the clampers again and said that I had talked to the police and got the advice I needed, and that I would need some details. I explained that I would be paying now and then taking up my appeal with the courts. The driver snapped back "Well if I have to appear in court I will be counter-claiming for loss of earnings!" I just ignored him, and asked for the company name - Whites Car Park Solutions Ltd, based in Southampton, the name on the van is simply Whites CPL. Obviously they don't want to be spotted!

I also asked for some ID, he handed me a very dodgy photocopy of a license! So I asked where his original was, he said it was at home! He went on to add that it is 'perfectly legal' to carry a photocopy.

I then paid up, £150! And got them to remove the clamp so I could get on my way. I inspected my wheel and arch for damage, it was all ok.

 

Now, I have read through the Clamping Guide thread and from what I can see there are two main issues: 1 - the signs are inadequate, and 2 - at no point did either of the men wear any form of ID, nor did they offer to show me any. At the time I was unaware that by law they must display it clearly at all times. Also, the man told me that it was perfectly legal to carry a photocopy of a license, I should add that it was a terrible copy.

 

I have however looked up his license number on the SIA website and his name match the registered details.

 

So really I am looking for some advice! Do I have a leg to stand on? If so, what is the best way for me to make my appeal?

 

Thanks for your patience, I appreciate it's a bit of a long read!

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Quick thing. The way the clamp has been put on . you could have jacked your car up and deflated the wheel and driven out of the clamp. also you could have very easily undone the nuts on the wheel and hey presto the wheel would have come off taking the clamp off with it.


I hate bailiffs. Let me know if you have had a problem with them. I am sure i could upset them.

I now have experience with Securitas Security Services (UK) Limited and won in court against them 01/2018

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Ah, yeah I checked that but they had put the chains over the bottom wishbone so the only way to get it off would have been to remove the lower balljoint. The crafty buggers knew what they were doing!

Im a keen home mechanic so I actually had all my tools in the car along with a trolley jack! I could have done it but didn't really want to go through the hassle. Plus they were parked just behind me watching my every move. :| Their reaction would have been interesting though. :D

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One of the sia offences is ' failure to display'. He should of had his badge on at all times, clearly visible. Its an offence not to. Although you got his number, and checked it out on the sia site, I'm not too far away from southampton, and know of at least 2 door supervisors that had their badges revoked for photocopying them and 'keeping the original safe'the sia REALLY don't like people copying the badges.

 

Complain on both counts to the sia, and a letter to the clamping company for a start.


All opinions & information are the personal view of the poster, and are not that of any organisation, company or employer. Any information disclosed by the poster is for personal use only. Permission to process this data under the Data Protection act is NOT GIVEN to any company, only personal readers.

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Take a grinder with you next time lol.


PLEASE DONATE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN

 

 

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

 

 

Go on, click me scales (if I have helped) :grin:

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Guest pdyke14856

Wells it's obviously a shame that you were one of the first people to be clamped by this new company.

 

The carpark is split into two areas, one of which is customer parking for the shop at the front where you can see that van and parking for the firm behind the shop which is in front of their building, behind it and in their driveway where you so considerably parked. The company in the building behind the shop has instigated the services of a clamping firm on their land because off the amount of illegal parking.

 

To have reached the point you arrived at you would have had to drive in, ignoring the sign on the wall on the right, then ignored the Private Parking signs which are on all the walls in the main carpark, the clamping sign on the front of the private building, driven past the clampers, past the sign on the back of the building and parked in someones private driveway.

 

You would have then walked across the drive, past the sign on the left, all of the private signs in the carpark and then to get into subway under the clamping sign. No doubt you are on of a number of people who then consider it's OK to park up on private property, eat their subway and drop their litter out of the window all over someones private property.

 

It's a shame you have been clamped, personally I believe it's a heavy handed tactic, but in your case, it's not as if you even parked in the actual carpark, you actually parked in their driveway, blocking their exit access!

 

It's a lesson learnt I'm afraid.

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No doubt you are on of a number of people who then consider it's OK to park up on private property, eat their subway and drop their litter out of the window all over someones private property.

 

..and these assumtions of where Mundane would eat his subway and what he does with his litter are based on what facts exactly?

 

You wouldn't happen to own the new Whites CPS would you pdyke?

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eat their subway and drop their litter out of the window all over someones private property.

 

 

Trip, trap, trip, trap 'Can I walk over your bridge?'

 

I know what I can smell.

Edited by 389shell
Horrendous punctuation!

PLEASE DONATE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN

 

 

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

 

 

Go on, click me scales (if I have helped) :grin:

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I would just ignore that comment, but just to clear my name I will point out that besides buying my sandwich with the intention of eating at home, I personally am very much against the careless dropping of litter. In all my visits to Subway (or any shop for that matter) I have never thrown my rubbish out of the window. Why bother when I can easily walk to the bin or simply take my litter home?

 

Also, I will point out that the area I parked on isn't their driveway. I imagine that's what the gravel car park is for.

 

Anyway, thanks for the serious comments, I'll be writing to both the clamping company and the SIA and I'll let you know the results.

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To have reached the point you arrived at you would have had to drive in, ignoring the sign on the wall on the right, then ignored the Private Parking signs which are on all the walls in the main carpark, the clamping sign on the front of the private building, driven past the clampers, past the sign on the back of the building and parked in someones private driveway.

 

 

Of course if the damn clamping van hadn't been there Mundane would have been able to utilise that available authorised space (I assume the van was in an authorised space ;)) and would never have used the side alley at all. Would this constitute entrapment I wonder. :D

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Ah, I missed that point. The clampers weren't in the car park as I parked, I walked past them (as they were driving in) on my way out of the car park. They were in a silver Vauxhall Astra van so I just assumed that they were builders. They must have been patrolling the high street waiting for somebody to go into one of the car parks, spotted me and followed me in.

 

Im going to go back and take a picture of the entrance to the car park as you would see it turning in off the high street. If you were turning right into the car park the sign would be completely invisible.

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Wells it's obviously a shame that you were one of the first people to be clamped by this new company.

 

The carpark is split into two areas, one of which is customer parking for the shop at the front where you can see that van and parking for the firm behind the shop which is in front of their building, behind it and in their driveway where you so considerably parked. The company in the building behind the shop has instigated the services of a clamping firm on their land because off the amount of illegal parking.

 

To have reached the point you arrived at you would have had to drive in, ignoring the sign on the wall on the right, then ignored the Private Parking signs which are on all the walls in the main carpark, the clamping sign on the front of the private building, driven past the clampers, past the sign on the back of the building and parked in someones private driveway.

 

You would have then walked across the drive, past the sign on the left, all of the private signs in the carpark and then to get into subway under the clamping sign. No doubt you are on of a number of people who then consider it's OK to park up on private property, eat their subway and drop their litter out of the window all over someones private property.

 

It's a shame you have been clamped, personally I believe it's a heavy handed tactic, but in your case, it's not as if you even parked in the actual carpark, you actually parked in their driveway, blocking their exit access!

 

It's a lesson learnt I'm afraid.

 

Were you driving the van perhaps ?

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Guest pdyke14856

Not trolling I'm afraid.

 

Indeed that is my van. Parked on my property, in my car parking area.

 

You of course were parked on someones elses property behind that. Of that there is no doubt whatsoever, your own photographs prove this.

 

I was concerned to arrive to work yesterday to find a clamping firm in operation behind my business as I was unaware of it and I or my staff could have easily strayed into their area and also been clamped.

 

I happened to come across this posting as I was trying to look up the Clamping company who introduced themselves to me as they would like me to also sign up and I wanted to see if they were known. So hence, I have registered and posted a reply as I saw your posting.

 

Again, it's a shame that you have been clamped & fined. It's an excessive amount, but just because you had parked there in the past when the buildings were empty does not make it 'all right'. It does not give you some 'right' to park there. The whole area is very clearly defined with 'Private' Parking' signs and has done for some time, it is very very clear. The clamping signs are new and in addition to the existing parking signs.

 

If you want to take these guys to court, go ahead. Their 'loss of earnings' comment is rubbish and unenforcable.

 

But I think you should put this down to experience.

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Well, it's nice of you to take a slightly less condescending tone this time.

 

If the place was well signposted and I had ignored them then I agree I am running a risk and if I get caught it's entirely my fault. The point of my argument is that it isn't well signposted. At all. If I was able to drive into the car park, around the back, park, then walk out without spotting any of the (clamping) signs then there must surely be something wrong. It seems the signs have placed with the intention of making them difficult to spot. A white sign with relatively small print is hardly noticeable on a white wall, and the height and placement of the sign at the entrance is just a joke.

 

Changing the subject, is it wise for me to mention that I am reporting the clampers to the SIA in my appeal letter?

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Whilst the amount you have been charged is rather excessive. I have to agree that you ought not to have been parked on what is obviously private property and you were parked in a most inconsiderate manner blocking access to the rear of the building. The signs look extremely visible from the photographs you have posted, also it appears from the posting pdyke14856 made, that you have failed to post or mention all the other signs relating to it being a private car park etc.

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I was concerned to arrive to work yesterday to find a clamping firm in operation behind my business as I was unaware of it and I or my staff could have easily strayed into their area and also been clamped.

 

 

As easily as Mundane did inadvertantly you mean?

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Ok, perhaps I should point out that where I parked isn't the access to the rear car park. If you take a look at the pictures you'll see that the access road is on the left. :rolleyes:

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Guest pdyke14856
Ok, perhaps I should point out that where I parked isn't the access to the rear car park. If you take a look at the pictures you'll see that the access road is on the left. :rolleyes:

 

This Mundane is true. It isnt the access point. It's their exit! :eek:

 

Concerning Crem's comment about straying as easily as Mundane. Well no, Mundane would have had to go to some effort to get to where he did eventually, basically driving around the whole building and every sign. To have got to the subway you walked past two clamping signs, including walking towards the one on the front wall. You could have only missed it as you were obviously thinking 'Reggae Reggae Sandwich':D

 

I did feel bad for one guy who parked his van mostly on my land at the front, went to the bike shop and was clamped because he was over the boundary between the two buildings at the front. The difference was he was mostly on my land, but because he was partially over on theirs he was clamped. My concern is these guys could now clamp anyone on my land who fractionally goes over on to their clients including me or my staff!

 

When a customer came to pick up some furniture they quickly came over to see if it was over the boundary. So now I am having to pay to clearly delienate my boundary between the other building to avoid any issues with my customers. It will only be a matter of time before they clamp one of my customers as they park a few inches over and I cannot do anything about it so it's now a real headache for me.

Edited by pdyke14856

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Busy weekend so I've just seen this thread and wanted to make a few observations.

 

An SIA badge must be worn at all times. Having a photocopy is not acceptable. This is specifically mentioned in Security Industry Regulations 2007 (Stat. Instrument No.810). The clamper was in breach of the regulations and should be reported to the SIA (www.thesia.org.uk).

 

As to the signage in this case. With all due respect to pdyke just because signs are displayed does not mean that the clamping is automatically legal or correct. One of the important case parts of case law on clamping concerns the signs being read and understood. If they are not clearly visible and or readable then you cannot really enforce clamping.

 

It could be argued that the height of the signs is to high. 8-10 foot above ground puts it out of the normal vision of most people. If you are sat in a car you definitely couldn't see it.

 

OP what you need to decide is whether a reasonable person could have seen the signs given your route entering and exiting the car park both in your car and on foot. If this goes to court you will have to convince a judge that the signage was inadequate.

 

The other thing you may wish to question is the size of the release fee. Bearing in mind "damage distress feasant" is to compensate for actual damages incurred/caused it would be interesting to see their actual losses. If the actual damages incurred is negligible you may have grounds to argue the charge is excessive.

 

If you do decide you have a case then you have a duty to try and resolve the case before taking it to court. You should send a Letter Before Action to both the landowner and the clamping company stating your case and asking for a refund of monies owed. You should ask for a breakdown of the damages caused to the landowner. If the response is unsatisfactory then you can take them to court.

 

BTW Did they give you a receipt with the all the required information on it.

The clamping guide gives the SIA requirements.

 

In addition they gave the name of a limited company so you should be able to obtain the registered office address for your LBA on the Companies House website. It should be on the receipt they gave you as well. BTW If the address on the receipt isn't the registered address then they are breaching the Companies Act and can be reported to Companies House compliance section who can impose penalties for non-compliance.


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An SIA badge must be worn at all times. Having a photocopy is not acceptable. This is specifically mentioned in Security Industry Regulations 2007 (Stat. Instrument No.810). The clamper was in breach of the regulations and should be reported to the SIA (www.thesia.org.uk).

 

Surely the fact that he was using a photocopied license is sufficient grounds for Mundane-o to seek repayment pin1onu?

 

Although from reading Mundane's thread I get the feeling he will be more than happy to pursue any and all the options you have outlined above. :D

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Oh yes, very much so! I don't see why I should show any mercy when they would quite happily take me for anything they could.

 

Thanks very much for the info pin1onu! Should my best course of action be something like this:

 

Write my appeal to the clamping company, since I have a 7 day deadline to appeal. In this letter should I state that they were in breach of regulations by not displaying their ID and that I will be informing the SIA, or just keep to the main point that their signs weren't clearly displayed?

 

Write to the SIA to inform them of the clampers' breach of regulations for both displaying their ID and the signs.

 

Write to the owners of the building asking for a breakdown of the damages caused by my 2 minute (turned nearly 45 minute) stay.

 

Also, would it be a good idea to send copies of my correspondence to each party to all parties, so everyone can see what's going on, or keep them all seperate?

 

Edit:

Yes they did give me a receipt. Also, While I was waiting for the police to call back another driver pulled into the car park and I warned them about the clamping, they hadn't noticed the signs, and as I was leaving a man in a rather nice sports car pulled in and parked. I wonder if they got him too.

Edited by Mundane-o
Added information.

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Guest pdyke14856

Mundane, you crack me up. You take photographs of you illegally parked on someone elses property, take photographs of most of the signs indicating you're going to get clamped and then post them on the internet as proof for everyone to see and then say you're going to write to them to say you couldnt see them and you didnt do it guv!

 

Good luck m8.

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I particularly like the part that documents the clamper operating outside the SIA rules. naughty clamper. usual advice is sue the clamper and the landowner - adding complaints about the clear breech of SIA rules can't hurt. i

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easy way. Write to the land owner and also clamping company giving them 14 days to cough. If they do not then send them a final warning letter after which issue a small claim. This should be sorted out once they recieve your small claim. Also when you issue the small claim. Make sure you use the directors address for service as well.


I hate bailiffs. Let me know if you have had a problem with them. I am sure i could upset them.

I now have experience with Securitas Security Services (UK) Limited and won in court against them 01/2018

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Sigh.. None of this is sinking in is it pdyke? I'm not trying to say I 'didn't do it, guv!' The whole point of my argument is that it isn't clear enough that clampers were operating due to the poorly displayed signs. If I had seen the signs and chosen to ignore them then I would admit that it's my own stupid fault. Next time I'll know to park in the lay-by out the front instead.

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