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Beat The Rotten, Inhuman Wheel Clampers!

This section is hosted by our resident Master Clamp Cracker 'Alfred'. If anyone has successfully removed a clamp tell us how you did it Removing a Wheel Clamp

Even better, if you have photo's of the deed well put them up - just make sure your registration plate isn't in the photo!


Extortion!

Drivers are facing intimidation and extortionate fines.

Clampers are charging drivers up to 670 (US$1,000) to recover their cars as they capitalise on a legal loopholes to make as much cash as possible before new regulations come into force.

The RAC Foundation says it fears that in the meantime, clampers will stretch existing laws to their limits and use staff recruited from prisons to provide the muscle to persuade reluctant motorists to pay up.

Wheel clamping on private property has provoked thousands of complaints about intimidation and extortionate fines, but local authorities and police have virtually no powers to tackle them


Held to Ransom!

Earlier this year the House of Commons heard stories of wheel-clampers who had threatened to hold a female driver's three-year-old daughter hostage until she came back with cash to pay her fine.

Another young woman was asked for sex unless she came up with her fine payment immediately.

Clampers in Sheffield demanded a woman motorist's gold tooth as payment. And a hearse was clamped outside a church with the coffin still in the back.

The RAC Foundation said that East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust recently fired a company which had, in the past, attempted to recruit inmates at Brixton Prison in south London to work as clampers. It had started immobilising cars belonging to patients and staff at a Slough clinic.

As you can see we have a real problem here in the UK but clamps are a worldwide menace. There is some UK case law on this page but I feel the only real way to win is to get the cancerous tumour off your car, throw it in the boot and then take it to the tip!

I have personally removed 3 clamps, had 1 ticket ripped up and made a clamper remove an immobiliser.

Here's how I did it:

This is similar to the clamp in this example except the lock was an integral part of the main plate and the chain was held by the locking pin and not a padlock.

1. The first clamp I removed was attached in a place where no warning signs existed. I decided there and then to try to get it off as the fine was £60 (US$90) and I knew that trying to plead with the clampers was a waste of time. I walked across town and bought a hacksaw for @£10 ($15).

The problem with clamps is that they are usually made from hardened steel. This particular clamp consisted of a plate and a chain which wrapped around the axle. This is a design to stop people letting air from their tyres and slipping the clamp off.

Try as I might the saw made no impression and simply polished the steel - I spent several minutes attacking the device in various areas but it was a seriously tough bit of kit...then...

I found a weakness!

There is a soft area on these clamps and on several other types. It is the bolt in the locking mechanism, the locking pin which holds the chain. This is the only component made from mild steel and which can be cut. It's a good area because it releases the chain instantly.

2. I have touched on the next clamp in Example 1.

I have successfully removed two of these types. They are made up of 3 bars which hook over the tyre held in place by a front plate designed to restrict access to the wheel nuts.

The idea is to let as much air from the tyre as you can drive away with. Then add the secret ingredient...brute force!

If you pull hard enough it is possible to bend the vertical arm back away from the wheel leaving you free to drive out of the contraption.

That's the 3 clamps - now how I got the ticket ripped up and the clamp removed.

Before I go on a word of warning - I am 6" tall, weigh 16 stone (mostly muscle!) and have trained in martial arts for several years. I can look after myself.

Many clampers are serious bullies and rely on their intimidation to frighten people into paying.

My wife and her mother were out shopping four years ago when they returned to find the dreaded yellow tumour on the wheel. My wife was 7 months pregnant at the time and my mother-in-law is the meekest, most polite person you'd ever have the pleasure of meeting.

As they arrived so did the clampers. They refused point blank to remove the thing until my wife handed over a cheque. Now she could have cancelled it but unfortunately I have a real thing about scumbags who extort money from defenceless women!

I called their mobile throughout the night with language I'd rather not publish, and because they were on a mobile with only a PO Box number they refused all requests for a meeting to debate their tactics!

Mistake number 1 for the clampers is that if you call the Post Office they are obliged, by law, to let you have the registered address on the PO Box holder, and you can't get a box without a legitimate address.

So I went round and as luck would have it the van was just leaving as I arrived.

I held back and followed it for a hour.

In my younger days I'd have pulled the van over and had words with the driver but past experience has proven that these types rarely want to enter into a sensible conversation, so one usually ends up kicking the living daylights out of them!

Not always the best route these days!

I tracked their movements that day and later called them. I recited their home address and recalled their route that day. I also told them what would happen if they didn't placate me.

Later that evening there was a knock on my mother-in-law's door - it was a police officer (she was the registered keeper)...

Get this!!! - He said that he had received a call from the clampers...here we go...they were terrified!

They had asked the officer to call me off, that they would not process the cheque or press charges and was there any thing I wanted!!!

I promise this is no word of a lie - I was amazed and have smugly dined out on the story ever since.

THIS APPROACH IS NOT FOR THE FEINT HEARTED AND
IT COULD HAVE VERY EASILY GONE TITS UP!

The same can be said for the next example!

How to Get a Clamper to Remove it!

On another occasion I returned to find the car clamped with the chain type immobiliser. I had used the same spot for years and had never seen a warning sign (because there wasn't one). It was late in the evening so there were no hardware shops open from where to buy a hacksaw.

I decided to take the Car Jack out of the boot and look for a way to use it to break open the lock by forcing it apart.

I was all dressed up for a night out and getting dirty set my blood boiling. I had been at it for around 15 minutes when the clamper arrived.

WHOOSH!

I exploded - before he'd got out of the car I was on him, Car Jack raised "Get that f.....g thing off now" I asked politely!

He was sufficiently taken aback and suggested I not beat the crap out of him as he was only doing his job. He would call his office to get the guys down with the keys...no he wouldn't!

NEVER LET A CLAMPER GET ON THE PHONE - HE'S ONLY CALLING FOR BACK-UP AND WILL BULLSHIT FOR ALL HE'S WORTH TO STALL YOU TILL IT GETS THERE.

An important thing to note is that the guy who turns up to remove the clamp in usually the one who's put it on.

After several attempts to use the phone my clamper gave up and tried to drive away. I mentioned quietly in his ear that if he did, he'd be driving without headlights and a windshield.

I will give him credit for his tenacity though as he tried every trick in the book not to unclamp me. The only problem was that I was more determined to have it removed!

Eventually I suggested he put this one down to experience, which he agreed to and said that he could remove it if he had clamped a disabled person by mistake.

He was not allowed to clamp disabled people...which opens up a new loophole!

If you can produce a disabled card, which has 'fallen into the footwell' they must remove the clamp.

My suggestion would be to get a sample made up just to be used in the case of a clamping where you feel uncomfortable about physically confronting the clampers.

ONE MORE WARNING - A FRIEND OF MINE RECENTLY TOLD ME ABOUT THE TIME HE PULLED THE BASEBALL BAT OUT ON A CLAMPER AS A 'NEGOTIATING TOOL' ONLY TO SEE SEVERAL MORE CLAMPERS PILE OUT OF A NEARBY VAN WITH BIGGER BATS!

BE CAREFUL.

The publishing of these true stories is to show that we can fight back - you don't have to resort to violence, but getting the clamp off will give you back your freedom...for free!

If you are clamped by a legitimate authority and remove it you open yourself up to prosecution but if you use the loopholes in our book 'How to Avoid Paying Parking and Speeding Fines' you will get away with it.

DON'T LIE DOWN AND TAKE THE CRAP - DRIVERS ARE NOT A SOFT TARGET!

Send us your experiences of clampers right now! Removing a Wheel Clamp

'It is high time that the bully-boy stand-and-deliver tactics should be outlawed'
Edmund King, RAC (One of UK's leading motoring organisations)


READERS' TIPS

If you have any advice or experiences with wheel clamps and how to get them off, or avoid having them put on let us know and we'll publish it here: Removing a Wheel Clamp

Even better, if you have photo's of the deed well put them up - just make sure your registration plate isn't in the photo!

If you do successfully remove a clamp take it away because it has been known for the scumbag clampers to sue for criminal damage to their property!

As far as you're concerned there was no clamp on your car when you returned!!!


Inside the mind of a clamper!

Before I go on I would like to give you an insight into the mind of a clamper. I recently received the following:

Bah, humbug!

Alfred, I've never read such a load of tosh in my entire life. If my mate TC (Top Clamp) and myself were on your patch, we would clamp you into the next millennium for such outrageous advice.

Super Clamp

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Somewhat angered I replied:

If you we're on my patch and I caught you clamping my motor I'd ram it so far up your jacksy you'd never walk again!

Alf

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Super Clamp quickly got back to me:

The very fact that you have been clamped before Alfy dear boy indicates to me that like most of the inconsiderate a$$holes I clamp on a daily basis, we all have the capacity to break the law when we feel like it, the trick in life is simply to get away with it the most..

A clampers job is simply to punish those people whom our customer's deem to be illegally parked on private property. And for this service to the community, I am not ashamed to admit that I do obtain job satisfaction.

Super Clamp

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I wrote:

Justify your c**k-sucking job anyway you wish, the same way muggers justify mugging old ladies, the fact remains, Super-wimp dear gay-boy, you're still a bully and a p**ck.

I'll put your comments on the site and if you've got the bottle let me know who you really are and where you operate, so people know the way you feel about them - other side of the coin as it were!

Or are you the same as the rest of the chicken-sh*t herd, hiding behind PO Box numbers, mobile phones and oh, look ...a hotmail address?

Alf
Super Clamp Kicker

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And finally this came back - just pay attention to the part where he say's 'And no, I am not afraid to reveal myself'... then bottles it!!!

/nuts Alf twice - if you came within 10 feet of me, I would rip out your
eyes, and p*** on your brain - I'm as hard as they come :)

Pleasantries aside, it is true that once a target has been assimiliated,
young or old - I stick to my guns no matter what. There can't be one rule
for one person, and one rule for another - I treat all offenders equally.

And no, I am not afraid to reveal myself, after all I am a professional, and
as a fellow professional yourself. I am surprised that you have not yet
added a 'Clampers Corner' on your website to allow the 'other side' to voice
its concerns about the violence/intimidation one recieves whilst on duty. On
the other hand, revealing myself on your website may be a catalyst for too
much unwanted attention in the course of my duty, so I would prefer to
remain anonymous for the time-being.

But I will say be wary, because whenever and wherever you park in my
jurisdiction (Crowne Plaza Hotel - Manchester), like The Terminator, I
cannot be reasoned with, I do not fell pity, or remorse, pain or fear, and I
absolutely will not stop until the offender coughs up.

Super Clamp
Judge, Jury and Executioner

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They really are a sad bunch eh?

I'll keep ya all posted!


Angle-Grinder Man Wheel-clamp Superhero / Vigilante

We love angle-Grinder man, the U.K.s first wheel-clamp and speed camera vigilante cum subversive superhero philanthropist type personage.
Angle-Grinder Man in Action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hello there..here it is in simple terms:

1.Do what I do.....buy a cordless drill and keep it in the boot (trunk)....spend about £40 on the drill and keep 2 batteries fully charged.

2. You will need a titanium/cobalt drill bit...5,6,7,8mm will suffice....these are only available from Locksmith supply companies....I am a locksmith!

3. Locate the lock mechanism and or padlock locking mechanism...and drill it!!

4. Make sure the drill is not on hammer!!

5.Do this and the lock is..well..opened!!

6.Keep an eye out for the clampers......they dont like there clamps mullered!!

If you would like more info please email me as I can provide the drill bits needed

I have so far saved over £200 using this method

regards

Tony burnleycom@ntlworld.com


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Buy a power inverter that converts 12VDC from your car's cigarette lighter to 120V AC

Make sure you get one with a high power output.

Buy an angle grinder from a power tool store. When needed, plug the angle grinder into the power inverter and cut the clamp off fast!

L.(USA)


Citroens with the hydraulic suspension let right down are impossible to clamp.

JD Patmore (UK)


I always carry a clamp removal tool kit - just in case! - I carry a heavy hammer, a hard, heavy duty chisel, a crowbar (jemmy), and a heavy duty hacksaw. Pain in the butt, but then again paying the fine is worse!

K. Levinmore (USA)


The best way to remove wheel clamps is by using the key!

Since one does not have the key of the device applied by the scumbags, you should obtain one or two clamps of ones own and carry those with you in the boot. Arriving at your destination, you apply your clamp or clamps to the wheels that are clampable, assuming that the other two wheels are protected by the curb or the like. In this situation, the clampers either think that someone was ahead of them and move on, or have no way to apply their clamp over yours. To get on your way remove your clamps with your keys. Make shure that the design does not allow overlocking by the scumbags.

Yours, J. Laan Clampfree zone, British Columbia, Canada


Yesterday I was private wheel clamped. The demand on the phone was for £135 (plus 5% credit card surcharge).

So I removed it by finding one of the chain links was slightly open, and then simply levering it apart with the end of a wheel jack.

The joints in the chains are welded so is that a good point to hacksaw and then lever apart?

Derek Lowe (UK)

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Good Man!!

Shame you didn’t use the wheel jack to lever apart the wheel clamper’s head!
I’ll put your advice up on the site if that’s OK

Alf


I hate the bullying tactics too!

I got one removed.

Phoned the MOBILE(!) number, seething, and basically threatened them with mutilation for a bit if they didn't get it off! They said eventually agreed, were shitting it, and said "my guys will be at the car in 15 minutes."

So there's me, 5'7 14.5 stone of steroid induced mass, and good few years of
Ninjutsu...

My mate, a 6ft, 18 stone Birmingham Zulu, and his mate, 6"7', undetermined
weight, and a riot organiser for the Zulus but hey, who's counting?

We get a phone call saying, "my guys have arrived, but he won't come over whilst you're all there, if you leave he'll take it off"- He did, end of story.

Really stand up guys eh..?

Do you guys have any info you could post about how to stop cars being taken from the street on the back of a lorry..?

Keep up the good work mate,
James.

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Nothing worse than bullies, which most of these clamping scum are!

Trouble is, they very rarely get stood up to so they continue to extort good people.

If more people stood up to them they'd give up - but, I don't recommend face to face confrontation unless the odds are in your favour which is why we continue to publish our guerrilla tactics.

Short of shooting out the tyres of the tow truck I wouldn't know how to stop the truck once your car's on it!

Alf


After returning from a day out with the family via the train to London we found our car had been clamped along with three others. Apart from a sign painted (probably by a neanderthal thug) on the road as you entered the car park, which if you were following somebody in the single lane entrance it would be impossible to read or see, there were no other signs anywhere.

So at first I phoned the number on the sticker letting rip at a very poor excuse for a piece of humanity. I then called the police who told me its a civil matter and that they could not intervene. (Surprise, surprise! - Alf)

The lack of proper signs should be taken up with the local authority they said. One of the other people to be clamped was an Australian chap who considering their fairly laid back nature, started to kick the clamp.

I don't have a picture of it but the clamp was shaped with a disk like hub cap on the front of the wheel and a V shaped arm holding the back of the wheel. I walked over to see if he had got anywhere and to my surprise he had kicked it right off! He left it in the car park and drove away.

I rushed back to my car and in less than three minutes I had done the same, apart from the fact that I picked up the offending clamp and hurled it over a high railing fence into some large bramble thicket. (hasta la vista baby).

I have since read on the internet soliciters website that if you have a letter on the inside of your windscreen (clearly visible) that states 'you have not entered into an agreement to be clamped or to have your car impeded in anyway by the owner of the property, nor any persons representing them', you cover yourself.

The law states that if you park in an area where there are easily visible signs about car clamping then you are agreeing with the signs and you may be legally clamped.

So if you have been recently clamped make sure you take your window sign to the small claims court where you will be awarded the clamp fee!

It's a pain, but why give them what they want.

Another tempting question is whether wheel-clamping could be a criminal offence under the Administration of Justice Act 1970,(UK) which makes criminal the collection of civil debts by causing distress and public humiliation.

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Well done - the type of clamp you mention is an easy one to remove but my advice is always take it away. This means the clamper has to buy a new one and there's no evidence - it wasn't on your car when you returned!

You've got some great points - I'll post them at the site and see if we can get some clarification.

Alf


As possesion is 9/10ths of the law, once a scumbag has placed a clamp on your car surely it becomes your property to do with as you see fit?

Alex in Hants (UK)

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Good point, and one for the lawyers. The layman's rule is that if you ever get one off make sure you take it away because it as been known for the clampers to try to sue for criminal damage but just take it away as it gives you a great sense of one-upmanship - besides it wasn't there when you returned to your car was it???

Alf


To remove this example, let air from the tyre and pull the top bar away from the wheel.

You will need a lump hammer and a cold chisel. Strike the top of the padlock hard in a downward direction until the body of the lock parts from the locking pin.

Features: As used by Police Forces and Parking Enforcement Agencies.

* Heavy duty clamp - ideal for theft prevention and parking enforcement.

OK same technique of letting air out and bending back. It is worth noting that not all clamps are made from hardened steel and the bars can sometimes be cut through.


Weak in all areas, let air out and bend back. Can also be sawn through!

Even weaker! Even my gran could pull this one off! The biggest obstacle to removing these things is yourself and the belief that they are indestructible. They are not and will come off - don't lie down and take the crap any longer!

SOME UK CASE LAW

David Gore Litigation Department

Question

If my car has been clamped by a private firm on private property do I have the right to remove the clamp providing I cause no damage?
Anonymous 
 
Answer

There have been numerous criminal cases where motorists have been convicted for unlawful damage to a wheel clamp contrary to s.1(1) Criminal Damage Act 1971 for removing a car clamp without lawful excuse.

Cars can still be clamped on private property, provided there is a notice warning that unauthorised vehicles will be immobilised/clamped and any charge for their release is reasonable. By parking in an area where such a notice is displayed you will be consenting to the risk of clamping. The payment of a fee is a reasonable alternative to removing the clamp yourself, therefore there is no lawful excuse in relation to the criminal damage caused to the wheel clamp.

The forcible removal of a wheel clamp may be sufficient to amount to an offence under the Criminal Damage Act even if you take care in the removal of it and try not to cause damage to it.

Therefore it would be advisable to pay any fee for the removal of the clamp if the fee is reasonable.

http://www.davenportlyons.com

We Certainly don't agree that you should pay the fine but at least you know where you stand from a legal point of veiw!

This is why we recommend anyone who removes a clamp to take it with them - Although it would be ice to see the face of the clamper when they return to find their precious clamp in bits!!!

Alf


law-bytes@swarb.co.uk

Wheel Clampers bite the dust?

For many years motorists in England, at least those who are ready to take desperate measures to find somewhere to park, have run the risk of having their car disabled by the application of a wheel clamp.

The case of Vine v Waltham Forest London Borough Council CA Times April 12th 2000 shows what bloody-minded persistence can achieve. The Appellant sued for damages after having her car clamped when she parked on private land owned by the Respondent Council.

The case had to deal with three issues. Was there any trespass to the car, what level of notice was required, and what level of damages was appropriate. The case is useful because it establishes that the clamping of a car is a trespass to that car.

The Court of Appeal decision is considerable authority. It follows that wheel-clamping is unlawful unless the person who applies the clamp can demonstrate that the owner of the car consented to the clamping. To establish that consent the car clamper must show that the parker knew of and assumed the risk of, being clamped.

The second issue was whether the Claimant was given sufficient notice of the clamping policy. If she had notice then she was to be deemed to have consented to the clamping. In this particular case, the Claimant demonstrated that she was subject to very considerable distractions, and that it was a medical emergency, which required her to stop.

The court looked at the case law regarding the giving of notice to those parking cars. These cases are well known to contract law students. In effect the court applied the standard that "there must be some clear indication which would lead an ordinary sensible person to realise ..." the existence of the notice, and also the requirement that the notice must be "brought home to the parties so prominently that he must be taken to have known of it and have agreed with it".

The third issue was the measure of damages. The more optimistic motorist must recognise that the court does not intend to encourage such claims by awarding exemplary, or even useful, damages. The court said "the conduct could not be described as insolent, malicious or cruel, nor was it calculated to make a profit exceeding any likely compensation payable". Those who successfully argue this case in future may perhaps recover the cost of fees paid, but little more.

The defendant here was a local authority, perhaps a private company might be less well treated. One interesting question is this. The court clearly made the right of the clamping company to clamp a vehicle dependant on the implied consent of the motorists who parks being aware of the notice.

What would happen if the motorist places a sticker on the windscreen, or possibly the wheels themselves, stating, in the clearest of terms, that they do not consent to any clamps being placed on the vehicle?

What if that consent could not be implied?

The court found that the clamping required consent. That consent was inferred, and no more, from a notice. An explicit denial of that consent might lead to interesting court cases.

Lastly, we must commend the firm of solicitors and Counsel for their enterprise and the Claimant for her persistence.

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Another tempting question is whether wheel-clamping could be a criminal offence under the Administration of Justice Act 1970, which makes criminal the collection of civil debts by causing distress and public humiliation.

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David Swarbrick consultant with Wrigley Claydon, Solicitors, 29/33 Union St, Oldham OL1 1HH email:david.swarbrick@wrigleyclaydon.com Tel: 0161 785 3527

This note relates to English law only. A short note cannot reflect the complexity of real life. The law changes constantly and unpredictably. This law-byte was last amended on 24 February 2002, and the law may have changed after that date. Do not rely upon this note alone, but ask about your situation.

 

 

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