For those who did not get to read it, the man on the left works for a firm of tyre clampers [see lower right or even this pic] in Skipton, Yorkshire. That firm is notorious in this country for businesses hiring it to clamp cars of anyone wrongly parked.
Many would say that local businesses have a right not to have people park across their exits and that’s fair but these companies are predatory in their tactics. Their employees roam around in cars and if they detect the slightest offence, rush in to clamp the vehicle.
In this particular case, another man had a heart issue as he was driving past, swung his vehicle into a layby and within moments, the tyre clamper was on him. He got out and tried to push the clamper away, had a seizure, the clamper continued his clamping, phoned the hospital and left.
That was £150 to have the car unclamped or £300 to get the car back if they towed it away in an hour .
The issue is the utter callousness of the people working for these firms and the lack of any benefit of the doubt given.
There are legal issues here and one is that you have to be in the right before taking any action. From the motorist’s point of view, he has to get out of the clamper’s jurisdiction first, i.e. stop parking wrongly. Therefore, he has to cut the padlock.
The idea of setting up a boltcutting firm in the area is good – we rush out and you can use our cutters for a tenner or we’ll do the cutting for twenty because we need to replace the firm’s padlock at a pinch. We also supply the heavies to stand guard and we give you a flyer to leave at the local business which employed the clampers – it would say that Skipton will now be boycotted for shopping.
The idea of a Boycott Skipton campaign is also good but perhaps you wouldn’t call it that – you’d possibly say “Shop in Keighley, where the clampers are no menace,” something like that.
My initial thoughts on running a tow truck business to come and get your car after you’ve phoned us, we take it to our forecourt and remove the padlock is OK but too cost-prohibitive. There’s also the issue with the clamping firm here physically preventing us coming in and towing you away [with your permission].
I liked the idea though of the skateboard. Using a power bag hoist under the car, powered from the cigarette lighter perhaps, clamp a skateboard type wheelie thingy to the underside of their clamp, go to the other side, hoist and clamp on the other skateboard which is powered [no wheel rotation necessitates a power source] and you have enough power in the skateboard to have you chugging at a low speed out of the area of jurisdiction at least, plus slightly diminished turning motion under the wheel arches [depends on the type of clamp used].
Of all of the ideas, I think I like the boltcutter firm best but we’d have to get sufficient custom to pay the bouncers. This could be done by flyers where the firms who employ the clampers aren’t, with the mobile phone number prominent and soon word would get round. The premises would need to be secure, with a cage effect just inside the front door and with barred windows.
There is the obvious solution of just carrying boltcutters in the boot/trunk but you need to remember that these guys are watching and they’re not the most genteel people. It might require you having heavies to protect you.
There is another issue and that is the utter callousness of people in this country these days and the opting for the Draconian solution first, often without any understanding of the circumstances. Just as with the parachutee problem, the culpable ones are the higher-ups. The man in that picture was hired for those qualities and the firm advertised itself for its ruthlessness, which local firms availed themselves of. So local firms knew what they were doing to potential customers.
This is a post tomorrow.
Filed under: Society & human issues