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New law puts an end to private clamping

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A campaign to stop clamping on private land has been successful after a new law has been passed and will come into force to tackle the problem of cowboy clampers.

The Protection of Freedom Act will come into force from the 1st October which will make it illegal for motorists to be clamped on private land.

The news comes after years of campaigning from motoring groups to stop cowboy clampers taking advantage of motorists. Over the last twenty years there has been serious cases of clamping within the UK including the Queens official protection guard being clamped whilst on duty, a good samaritan being clamped after helping a hit and run victim and a marked police car has also been involved in a clamping issue.

Clampers used a number of tactics to target motorists such as using decoy vehicles to encourage parking, making up charges, refusing an appeal, paying the landowners to allow clamping and clamping on private land without the permission of the landowner.

It is hoped the new law will put a stop to cowboy clampers after years of issues surrounding them. Motorists are being urged over the next two weeks to be aware of clampers cashing in before the act comes into force.

Edmund King, AA president, who has campaigned for years against clamping on private land said: “We are delighted that cowboy clampers will have to hang up their clamps in a fortnight. This campaign had become a personal crusade for me over the last decade. The outright ban on wheel clamping on private land is a victory for justice and common sense.

“We have been campaigning for a ban against this legalised mugging for many years.  Too many clampers have been acting like modern day highwaymen for too long. Many elderly and vulnerable people have been ripped off by these callous cowboys. Clamping has been banned in Scotland since 1992 without problems.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge