We are not going to beat about the bush with this post.
Clamping on private land is ILLEGAL – a criminal offence – in England, Wales and Scotland. It is a form of theft, and is specifically prohibited. It was banned in Scotland decades ago, and banned in England and Wales in 2012.
This means that, unless the clamper has lawful authority, meaning a court order or specific legislation allowing the use of a Clamp to immobilise a vehicle, anyone clamping a vehicle they do not own is committing a criminal act, for which they can be imprisoned for up to 2 years.
However, some people seem to not know this. This is especially the case in some smaller car parks in England, where even now you will see signs that say “offending vehicles will be clamped” with a release fee from £50 to £500. This sign, on its own, is illegal as well.
In law, there is an offence known as Blackmail. Everyone knows what Blackmail is, that is where someone threatens to expose some sort of secret about you, unless you pay them money. But, the legal definition of Blackmail goes much further: Blackmail is the offence of threatening to commit a criminal act to make another person do, or not to, an act to their disadvantage.
So if you threaten to clamp a vehicle, a criminal act, to make another person, a driver, not do an act to their disadvantage, such as not park on your land, you commit the serious offence of Blackmail.
Blackmail is so serious that the maximum penalty is 14 years in prison.
Next time you see a Clamping sign, such as this one at Lewisham, please let us know, and please report this to your local police as a serious crime is being committed, for which there is no lawful excuse.