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Wheelclamping numbers 'on the rise'

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Figures suggest a 64% increase in the number of drivers who have had their vehicles wheelclamped in the last 12 months.

According to the survey, there was vehicle damage done during the operations for as many as four per cent of motorists who were clamped.

Local councils were paid £21 million to free clamped cars in the last year, while private clamping firms took £58 million, the statistics showed.

Around 17% of motorists in the survey believed they were parked legally and still clamped, while 59% said the parking space had little or no warning to show it was private.

As many as 11% of those clamped by private companies said they did not get their car back immediately despite paying the release fee, the data from insurance company LV= revealed.

John O'Roarke, the firm's insurance managing director, said: "We believe the clamping industry needs to be better regulated by the Government. This would help to put an end to heavy handed tactics and ensure that there's a fair and consistent approach across the UK by all firms."

© Press Association 2009