The 1st May 2012 saw the Protection of Freedoms Act being given Royal Assent. Whilst covering many areas this also introduced further regulation of wheel clamping and has, in effect, outlawed wheel clamping of vehicles on private land. The actual offence is set out in section 54 of the Act and provides that anyone found guilty of an offence under this Act would be liable for a fine.
For many Private Estates wheel clamping has been used as an effective tool to prevent unauthorized third parties parking without authority. Clearly they will need to look again at what steps are taken. The Act does make clear that the use of a fixed barrier would not be a an offence if the barrier was in place when the vehicle was parked whether in use or not. For many estates this is not a desirable option but other options are limited.
Clearly for any estates currently using wheel clamping they will need to liaise with their provider and see what if any alternative services they may offer such as imposition of fines etc. Sadly it seems that the actions of “cowboy” clampers have meant that this method of protecting rights has now been removed.