30/04/2009

Consultation Launched To Tighten Regulations For Wheel Clamping Businesses

A major new consultation has begun into plans to subject rogue wheel clamping businesses to tough new regulations, the Home Office announced today.

The public consultation, which sets out proposals for licensing wheel clamping firms, will run for 12 weeks. It is an opportunity for members of the public and all interested groups including wheel clamping businesses and motoring organisations to have their say.

The Government's proposals include the introduction of compulsory licensing to tackle the limited number of wheel clamping businesses whose practices include excessive fines for releasing clamped cars, towing cars unreasonably quickly after being clamped and putting up hidden, missing or confusing signs warning drivers that clamping takes place.

Currently, any individual undertaking wheel clamping must hold a frontline licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA), with supervisors or directors holding a non-frontline licence. The new proposals could also make it mandatory for the business itself to be licensed to help ensure it upholds standards of conduct, which will be enforced if they are not met.

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell, said: "There are clearly a minority of wheel clamping businesses that indulge in unacceptable behaviour including unclear signage and excessive fees.

"The Government intends to take firm action to prevent abuses by some of these firms and their employees.

"This consultation paper is designed to canvass views on a range of options for controls and is a vital step towards putting an end to rogue practices by some clampers."

(JM/BMcc)

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