Another great bit of unworkable Neue Arbeit law


Car clamping crackdown 'has failed'
By David Millward, Transport Correspondent
(Filed: 05/05/2005)

The new law designed to combat cowboy clampers was in disarray last night as it emerged that only 250 people had been granted a licence to clamp cars.

Before the legislation came into force, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) estimated that there were about 2,000 working in the industry.

But by the time the legislation came into force this week only 650 applications had been received. The law, which applies to clampers operating on private land, requires them to undergo 35 hours of training and a criminal record check. A licence costs £190 a year and it is illegal to clamp cars without one.

The poor response to applying for the licences happened despite the Government granting a two-month extension for registration. The legislation was passed in 2001, but its licensing provisions had statutory force from only this week.

The SIA was unable to say how many unlicensed clampers were operating yesterday. A spokesman said a number of the original 2,000 could have left the industry rather than conform with the legislation. But he could not put a figure on those who had "retired" from clamping.

The SIA spokesman insisted that the legislation was being enforced but refused to say whether either the authority or police had started carrying out checks on clampers.

The AA Motoring Trust dismissed the authority's explanation as "absolute garbage". Paul Watters, the trust's head of roads policy, said: "Illegal clampers will still be out there chancing their arm until they get caught."

Mr Watters advised any motorist whose car was immobilised to demand to see the clamper's licence. If he failed to produce one, the police should be called.

"Since May 3 it has been illegal to clamp a motorist without a licence and anyone doing so is committing a criminal offence," he said.

The Act was designed to curb the worst excesses of rogue private clampers who have provoked public anger with their behaviour. Instances have included a motorist, who had been a heart attack victim, having his car immobilised when he pulled off the road after suffering chest pains.

Edmund King, executive director at the RAC Foundation, described the implementation of the legislation as a "shambles".

He said: "The fact that only about 200 have applied suggests there are still clampers out there who are absolute cowboys who don't intend to go through the training course or still have criminal records, which means they can't get a licence.

"I know of one company where a clamper was refused a licence but is continuing to employ him to hand out parking tickets. These are enforceable in a civil court.

"We know the bureaucracy is a complete mess and in any case even with a licence there is no enforceable code of conduct. There is one company which still charges £423 a time for towing a car away and it does this every time."
If this shower of sh1t win today, expect more like this...
A great letter in the Torygraph yesterday featured a blerk volunteering to be Minister for Unimagined Consequences in a potential (probable) Labour government after the GE...he expressed the view that by running potential legislation past an eight year old daughter he should pick up most of the snags.

Let's face it, if foxes had the vote there wouldn't be much point in NA canvassing many dens around the country, after their Hunting Bile for Foxy Welfare came unstuck!

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