AA urges Government not to unclamp the cowboy clampers
The organisation says it's concerned that the ban which was due to be included in the Freedom Bill this autumn has already been delayed and is seeking assurances from Government that they are still fully committed to this ban. It has written to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Lynne Featherstone MP) on this issue.
The AA adds that it believes that it may have been targeted by clampers as a result of the organisation's campaign to outlaw cowboy clampers, with an AA patrol recently clamped and charged over £1,000 for parking on private land when he needed to attend a call-out. The total bill came to £1,080.75 – including a £50 penalty for "swearing" – which the AA paid as it needed the patrol and vehicle due to the increase in calls as a result of the cold weather.
According to the Evening Standard, bizarrely the clamping company has claimed that the patrol had breached his workers' human rights by swearing. The clamper also allegedly said he would be willing to negotiate a "goodwill gesture" if the AA "cut us some slack" in its campaign against private clampers.
Edmund King, AA president, said: "Charging over £1,000 to remove a clamp is highway robbery. Our patrol was assisting a female driver at risk – however the heavy-handed clampers were just after one thing -money.We are talking to our lawyers and the police to see how we can get our money back. We will not "cut them any slack" until clamping is outlawed.
'We are urging the Government to stick to their promise and end this rather unsavoury war on the motorist. There is no place for such barbarian tactics in a modern, civilised world.'