Wheel clamping, the alternative:

Remove clamping from the auspices of the SIA and put it in the hands of a robust governing body who offer accreditation to VI companies:

All existing VI company can present themselves as worthy of accreditation, as we have already seen many of the stakeholder complaints concern accredited companies, any third party appointed to oversee accreditation must have the ability to carry out regular ad hoc hands on inspections of any VI company being given full unfettered access to all aspects of the business including but not exclusive to:
• Personnel files
• Appeal records
• Documented evidence of enforcement action
• Payroll documentation
• Calibration of electronic equipment
In conjunction with these ad hoc visits to offices, all premises used in conjunction with the business should be inspected. Consideration to these premises being given to;
• Health and safety
• Overall ambience
• Location and ease of access
• Transport links
The location of an impound facility should be no more than 30 minutes travelling time by public transport from the place of removal.
The appointed body should also carry out regular `Test purchases` in businesses designated areas of operation. I also believe that any appointed body should have the facility to receive telephone calls from the public to offer advice and support; many stakeholders did not want to contact the VI Company directly or felt that once they had, the experience was not a pleasant one.
Licence to clamp:
The accreditation should take the form of a corporate licence to operate, to be granted when certain criteria have been met. Any VI company in breach of any new legislation could effectively have this licence revoked; they would then no longer be allowed to carry out licensable activity.

Stakeholder complaints:
The release/removal fee:
The most common complaints are with regard to the punitive charges levied by VI companies, this `de-clamp` fee should be set at £75.00, the fee for retrieving vehicles removed following a predetermined period should be £150.00, built into these charges should be a fee for `waiting time` when the behavior of a person or persons at the time of removal refuses payment or delays removal, this should be charged at £25.00 per hour or per part of that hour. A VI company should not increase the fee to include removal unless the removal vehicle is present and in the process of removal, the Police need to find some uniformity when dealing with clamping issues whilst it remains a civil offence private parking attendants should be afforded the same protection as Transport for London and council attendants in such as Any person who intentionally obstructs any authorised officer acting in the exercise of his powers under this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale. Any vehicle held in storage should be charged at £15.00 per day no charge should be incurred before midday of the following day. Stakeholders must accept that vehicles can be disposed after fourteen days; It is paramount that the public understand outstanding fees for removal and/or storage must be paid even if they wish to dispute the enforcement.
Consideration must also be given to people experiencing difficult financial circumstances, I would suggest that at the point of collection any person in such circumstances must show pre determined documentation asked to sign a declaration and be given the opportunity to pay in installments. Any declaration would need to be legally binding.
Signage:
Each VI Company uses different signage, the government must standardise the signs in both size font size and content. These signs should be available from a limited number of selected suppliers.
Speed of clamping/towing:
The only way to reduce incidents of stakeholder allegations of time passed since parking is by the aforementioned test purchasing, when complaints regarding this are received any appointed body should focus on this allegation i.e. “we visited the site four times in a three week period, on three occasions you breached the allotted timescale” the offending company should then be issued with an official warning, three warnings in any six month period should result in loss of accreditation. Any appellant should be involved in this process. If as per the above example a company is found to be in breach any outstanding appeals based on the grounds of the breach should be upheld, the gravity of probability being with the appellant.
Removals:
Any landlord wishing to employ clamping and/or removal on their land must be able to demonstrate good reason why such action is necessary, i.e. a social landlord whose residents quality of life is suffering as a result of regular offending by non residents should be allowed to employ enforcement, a landlord who has a small piece of waste land should be encouraged to seek other methods of securing his land. Enforcement should always be a last resort. Any appointed body should be available to advise Landlords considering enforcement. Consideration must be given to the need for removing an immobilised vehicle again a landlord must show good reason why removal is necessary, the length of time allotted before removal should be set at one hour from time of clamping, this must be shown in any displayed signage and in the event of a dispute should be supported by time dated evidence. In some cases there may be a requirement to employ instant removal any landlord wising to employ this must show good reason as to why , the reasons must be either that a breach of parking regulations could lead to loss of life or serious injury or could contravene health and safety laws. In this case clear unambiguous `INSTANT TOW AWAY `signage must be displayed. Removal crews should have both any requisite SIA licence but also the requisite licence for operating the removal vehicle. Removals should only be carried out using the HI-AB style of crane.
Payment methods:
All VI companies should have the facilities to take payments by both cash and credit/debit card unfortunately at the moment many banks refuse chip and pin facilities to any company declaring themselves to be in the business of Wheel clamping leaving them with no choice but to take cash only payments, this is unacceptable and the banks must change their present stance.
VI companies acting correctly still face problems with `chargebacks` whereby members of the public who have made a payment using chip and pin can claim a fraudulent transaction has taken place. VI companies acting correctly need protecting from this type of fraud which is commonly touted as the solution to clamping on many social forums.
Presently VI companies use a receipt of their own design if at all, as part of any new legislation a standard approved receipt book should be introduced available from a limited number of suppliers.
Appeal and complaints:
All VI companies must have a fully accountable standardised appeals procedure with pre determined time scales in place for both receipt of appeal and response(s). Time dated photographic evidence should be made available upon request, any appointed body should act as an independent appeal source once normal avenues have been exhausted the appointed body supersedes the VI companies if this becomes necessary Failure to meet pre determined timescales will result in a refund. Repeated failures will result in a formal warning.
Complaints should be directed to the appointed body who should respond within pre determined time scales all VI companies must co- operate fully with any complaint investigation any VI company receiving 6 or more upheld complaints in any six month period should receive a formal warning again 3 warnings and a VI company will lose its accreditation.
Wheel clamping is in my opinion necessary the only way VI companies will act responsibly is with close constant monitoring of all practices and procedures by an approved third party. The public the Police and the judiciary need to support companies acting responsibly if such things as signage & receipts are made uniform the public will have a clearer understanding of how clamping works this cannot happen without a sustained period of public education with blanket media coverage. Any punishment given to a VI company or operative acting outside of the legislation must be swift and firm. The public will only gain confidence if they see this happening. There also needs to be concession made for the VI companies acting correctly and who acquiesce to the changes, the Police and the judiciary will need to adjust their thinking and practices when dealing with clamping issues The media must accept that sometimes clamping is necessary and that if done correctly and certainly with a modicum of compassion and common sense should not be subject to sensationalistic journalism.


In conclusion:
• Hands on intrusive third party monitoring designed specifically for the VI industry
• A corporate licence to operate
• Reasonable fees standardised across the industry
• Uniform receipts and signage
• A period of public education
• A third party contact centre
• Transparent uniform appeals procedures
• Vociferous punitive measures for non compliance
• Changes in police and judiciary practices and procedures
 

Why is this idea important?

Remove clamping from the auspices of the SIA and put it in the hands of a robust governing body who offer accreditation to VI companies:

All existing VI company can present themselves as worthy of accreditation, as we have already seen many of the stakeholder complaints concern accredited companies, any third party appointed to oversee accreditation must have the ability to carry out regular ad hoc hands on inspections of any VI company being given full unfettered access to all aspects of the business including but not exclusive to:
• Personnel files
• Appeal records
• Documented evidence of enforcement action
• Payroll documentation
• Calibration of electronic equipment
In conjunction with these ad hoc visits to offices, all premises used in conjunction with the business should be inspected. Consideration to these premises being given to;
• Health and safety
• Overall ambience
• Location and ease of access
• Transport links
The location of an impound facility should be no more than 30 minutes travelling time by public transport from the place of removal.
The appointed body should also carry out regular `Test purchases` in businesses designated areas of operation. I also believe that any appointed body should have the facility to receive telephone calls from the public to offer advice and support; many stakeholders did not want to contact the VI Company directly or felt that once they had, the experience was not a pleasant one.
Licence to clamp:
The accreditation should take the form of a corporate licence to operate, to be granted when certain criteria have been met. Any VI company in breach of any new legislation could effectively have this licence revoked; they would then no longer be allowed to carry out licensable activity.

Stakeholder complaints:
The release/removal fee:
The most common complaints are with regard to the punitive charges levied by VI companies, this `de-clamp` fee should be set at £75.00, the fee for retrieving vehicles removed following a predetermined period should be £150.00, built into these charges should be a fee for `waiting time` when the behavior of a person or persons at the time of removal refuses payment or delays removal, this should be charged at £25.00 per hour or per part of that hour. A VI company should not increase the fee to include removal unless the removal vehicle is present and in the process of removal, the Police need to find some uniformity when dealing with clamping issues whilst it remains a civil offence private parking attendants should be afforded the same protection as Transport for London and council attendants in such as Any person who intentionally obstructs any authorised officer acting in the exercise of his powers under this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale. Any vehicle held in storage should be charged at £15.00 per day no charge should be incurred before midday of the following day. Stakeholders must accept that vehicles can be disposed after fourteen days; It is paramount that the public understand outstanding fees for removal and/or storage must be paid even if they wish to dispute the enforcement.
Consideration must also be given to people experiencing difficult financial circumstances, I would suggest that at the point of collection any person in such circumstances must show pre determined documentation asked to sign a declaration and be given the opportunity to pay in installments. Any declaration would need to be legally binding.
Signage:
Each VI Company uses different signage, the government must standardise the signs in both size font size and content. These signs should be available from a limited number of selected suppliers.
Speed of clamping/towing:
The only way to reduce incidents of stakeholder allegations of time passed since parking is by the aforementioned test purchasing, when complaints regarding this are received any appointed body should focus on this allegation i.e. “we visited the site four times in a three week period, on three occasions you breached the allotted timescale” the offending company should then be issued with an official warning, three warnings in any six month period should result in loss of accreditation. Any appellant should be involved in this process. If as per the above example a company is found to be in breach any outstanding appeals based on the grounds of the breach should be upheld, the gravity of probability being with the appellant.
Removals:
Any landlord wishing to employ clamping and/or removal on their land must be able to demonstrate good reason why such action is necessary, i.e. a social landlord whose residents quality of life is suffering as a result of regular offending by non residents should be allowed to employ enforcement, a landlord who has a small piece of waste land should be encouraged to seek other methods of securing his land. Enforcement should always be a last resort. Any appointed body should be available to advise Landlords considering enforcement. Consideration must be given to the need for removing an immobilised vehicle again a landlord must show good reason why removal is necessary, the length of time allotted before removal should be set at one hour from time of clamping, this must be shown in any displayed signage and in the event of a dispute should be supported by time dated evidence. In some cases there may be a requirement to employ instant removal any landlord wising to employ this must show good reason as to why , the reasons must be either that a breach of parking regulations could lead to loss of life or serious injury or could contravene health and safety laws. In this case clear unambiguous `INSTANT TOW AWAY `signage must be displayed. Removal crews should have both any requisite SIA licence but also the requisite licence for operating the removal vehicle. Removals should only be carried out using the HI-AB style of crane.
Payment methods:
All VI companies should have the facilities to take payments by both cash and credit/debit card unfortunately at the moment many banks refuse chip and pin facilities to any company declaring themselves to be in the business of Wheel clamping leaving them with no choice but to take cash only payments, this is unacceptable and the banks must change their present stance.
VI companies acting correctly still face problems with `chargebacks` whereby members of the public who have made a payment using chip and pin can claim a fraudulent transaction has taken place. VI companies acting correctly need protecting from this type of fraud which is commonly touted as the solution to clamping on many social forums.
Presently VI companies use a receipt of their own design if at all, as part of any new legislation a standard approved receipt book should be introduced available from a limited number of suppliers.
Appeal and complaints:
All VI companies must have a fully accountable standardised appeals procedure with pre determined time scales in place for both receipt of appeal and response(s). Time dated photographic evidence should be made available upon request, any appointed body should act as an independent appeal source once normal avenues have been exhausted the appointed body supersedes the VI companies if this becomes necessary Failure to meet pre determined timescales will result in a refund. Repeated failures will result in a formal warning.
Complaints should be directed to the appointed body who should respond within pre determined time scales all VI companies must co- operate fully with any complaint investigation any VI company receiving 6 or more upheld complaints in any six month period should receive a formal warning again 3 warnings and a VI company will lose its accreditation.
Wheel clamping is in my opinion necessary the only way VI companies will act responsibly is with close constant monitoring of all practices and procedures by an approved third party. The public the Police and the judiciary need to support companies acting responsibly if such things as signage & receipts are made uniform the public will have a clearer understanding of how clamping works this cannot happen without a sustained period of public education with blanket media coverage. Any punishment given to a VI company or operative acting outside of the legislation must be swift and firm. The public will only gain confidence if they see this happening. There also needs to be concession made for the VI companies acting correctly and who acquiesce to the changes, the Police and the judiciary will need to adjust their thinking and practices when dealing with clamping issues The media must accept that sometimes clamping is necessary and that if done correctly and certainly with a modicum of compassion and common sense should not be subject to sensationalistic journalism.


In conclusion:
• Hands on intrusive third party monitoring designed specifically for the VI industry
• A corporate licence to operate
• Reasonable fees standardised across the industry
• Uniform receipts and signage
• A period of public education
• A third party contact centre
• Transparent uniform appeals procedures
• Vociferous punitive measures for non compliance
• Changes in police and judiciary practices and procedures
 

Don’t Give Clampers People’s Addresses

When people register cars it is so the Police can trace car owners if they break the law. There is a high standard of proof and the Police have high standards.

People do not give their details so some licenced ex-nighclub bouncer can make a trumped up allegation and harass them at home. But that's exactly what happens. Any "person with a valid claim" eg a car park attendant or clamper – can write to the DVLA and get the owners details for a can registration number.

This WILL be abused. Owners of expensive cars will find themselves burgled. Attractive women will gain stalkers. Grudges will be pursued.

There is an altenative – the DVLA should never disclose an address but should instead forward communications for a modest fee, say 50p.

Remember, convicted hammer murderer Levi Bellifield was the owner of a clamping business. He could have got your home address without any questions.

Why is this idea important?

When people register cars it is so the Police can trace car owners if they break the law. There is a high standard of proof and the Police have high standards.

People do not give their details so some licenced ex-nighclub bouncer can make a trumped up allegation and harass them at home. But that's exactly what happens. Any "person with a valid claim" eg a car park attendant or clamper – can write to the DVLA and get the owners details for a can registration number.

This WILL be abused. Owners of expensive cars will find themselves burgled. Attractive women will gain stalkers. Grudges will be pursued.

There is an altenative – the DVLA should never disclose an address but should instead forward communications for a modest fee, say 50p.

Remember, convicted hammer murderer Levi Bellifield was the owner of a clamping business. He could have got your home address without any questions.

scrap the SIA

 a   home office  quango  that is inept in its   duties  & is a  cost burden  on  self employed  law  abiding  citizens in all  parts of the  Licenced  trade that is  in some ways  feeling the  pinch  more than most

Why is this idea important?

 a   home office  quango  that is inept in its   duties  & is a  cost burden  on  self employed  law  abiding  citizens in all  parts of the  Licenced  trade that is  in some ways  feeling the  pinch  more than most

Pub licensees should not need to have a door badge to stop people coming into their own pub

Landlords should not have to spend hundreds of pounds to get a door license to allow them to uphold the licensing objectives imposed on them.
In order to hold an alcohol license, you need a CRB check and to take exams to ensure that you understand your responsibilities.
If I wanted to stand on my own door and stop drunkards entering, I now need to have a door badge, however I can still be prosecuted if I fail to stop them coming in.

Why is this idea important?

Landlords should not have to spend hundreds of pounds to get a door license to allow them to uphold the licensing objectives imposed on them.
In order to hold an alcohol license, you need a CRB check and to take exams to ensure that you understand your responsibilities.
If I wanted to stand on my own door and stop drunkards entering, I now need to have a door badge, however I can still be prosecuted if I fail to stop them coming in.

Amend Private Security Industry Act 2001

This act was intended to regulate the private security industry by issuing licences for persons to hold jobs in this sector.  The excessive charges for licences tend to indicate that it is more about raising revenue, bearing in mind that licences last only 3 years, and that a licence costs £245 for first licence, and £122.50 for any other licence neded.

If regulation is needed, then OK, but not  for a prohibitively high charge.

Why is this idea important?

This act was intended to regulate the private security industry by issuing licences for persons to hold jobs in this sector.  The excessive charges for licences tend to indicate that it is more about raising revenue, bearing in mind that licences last only 3 years, and that a licence costs £245 for first licence, and £122.50 for any other licence neded.

If regulation is needed, then OK, but not  for a prohibitively high charge.

Get rid of the SIA or at least change it

 the SIA was a good idea to licence  doormen & keep the public safe  however it is  run by idiots   who lose   more  details  than they collect. &  the  fees are way too high 249 GBP   i  have to pay in a few months time (again!!!) just for the  right to work that is just unfair as a self employed  person. I am  all for the licence  system but under old  local  council systems  this  was  free &  was  stress free the SIA  have  messed up  more than the old system ever did (did not  a load of illegal 's  end up  working @ the  heart of  goverment ?). &  dont get me started on the  exam where  English as a second language is  a' get  a head start" & the SIA web site  state the costs & training  is to increase as of this month

i as a  born &  bred UK citizen have the right to work but i  should not have to pay for this right every  3 years  to keep some  pencil pusher in work  when i put my life at risk on a daily basis ensuring  the public  are safe.

 

Why is this idea important?

 the SIA was a good idea to licence  doormen & keep the public safe  however it is  run by idiots   who lose   more  details  than they collect. &  the  fees are way too high 249 GBP   i  have to pay in a few months time (again!!!) just for the  right to work that is just unfair as a self employed  person. I am  all for the licence  system but under old  local  council systems  this  was  free &  was  stress free the SIA  have  messed up  more than the old system ever did (did not  a load of illegal 's  end up  working @ the  heart of  goverment ?). &  dont get me started on the  exam where  English as a second language is  a' get  a head start" & the SIA web site  state the costs & training  is to increase as of this month

i as a  born &  bred UK citizen have the right to work but i  should not have to pay for this right every  3 years  to keep some  pencil pusher in work  when i put my life at risk on a daily basis ensuring  the public  are safe.

 

Change the Security Industry Authority appeal process.

Under current rules applicants have a 14 day window for a written appeal, and if still unhappy are given 14 days to apply to iether a magistrates or crown court. When my legal team applied to courts they were told that Magistrates and Judges are under strict rukes to uphold the SIA get licensed booklet, and as result of this are basically just rubber stamping the SIA decisions. With the Judges hands tied by SIA rules there is no unbiased, fully independant body an applicant can appeal to. It is totally against civil liberties, and an individualals right to work. The Judges and Magistrates should hear all appeals without being controlled by the Security Industry Authority.

Why is this idea important?

Under current rules applicants have a 14 day window for a written appeal, and if still unhappy are given 14 days to apply to iether a magistrates or crown court. When my legal team applied to courts they were told that Magistrates and Judges are under strict rukes to uphold the SIA get licensed booklet, and as result of this are basically just rubber stamping the SIA decisions. With the Judges hands tied by SIA rules there is no unbiased, fully independant body an applicant can appeal to. It is totally against civil liberties, and an individualals right to work. The Judges and Magistrates should hear all appeals without being controlled by the Security Industry Authority.