The director of a car clamping company has been ordered to pay £4,870 in fines and costs after being found guilty of two breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, he was acquitted of a third charge at Enfield Magistrates Court today.
A former director of City Watch Parking Enforcement Limited was prosecuted by Enfield Council’s Trading Standards Team after an incident involving a City Watch Clamper in a car park at the rear of some shops in Savoy Parade, Southbury Road, Enfield, on August 27. He was ordered to pay £750 for each offence, £3,370 costs and a £15 Victim Surcharge.
He was found guilty of:
1) Failing to indicate in a clear manner which parking bays in the car park were available for pay and display use, which caused or was likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision which they would not otherwise have taken and;
2) Failing to indicate in a clear manner that there was an extra 5% levied on the clamping fee for credit card payments, which caused or was likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision which they would not otherwise have taken,
But he was found not guilty of:
1) Engaging in an aggressive commercial practice, namely clamping a vehicle and refusing to release it unless the motorists paid the fee demanded, in circumstances where:
a. The motorist was not first afforded a reasonable opportunity to purchase a pay and display ticket and
b. It was in any event not indicated that a charge was payable for parking a motor vehicle in the relevant space or that a permit was required to park a motor vehicle in the relevant space
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “This car clamping firm were behaving in an illegal manner and the news Enfield Council has successfully prosecuted them for their abysmal business practices will no doubt be a cause of celebration for motorists everywhere.
Car clamping firms need to understand that they provide a service, but their actions are always under the closest scrutiny because of the negative publicity the most extreme cases of clamping attract, we are willing to work with properly registered and reputable clamping firms but this case clearly shows we’ll do whatever it takes to stand up for motorists and reign in the worst excesses of irresponsible and reckless clamping companies.
We say that this should send out a clear message to clampers that their behavior will no longer be tolerated.