Miller urges Cayman to copy UK clamping ban

Independent Member of the
Legislative Assembly Ezzard Miller is asking the government to follow the UK’s
example in banning wheel clamping on private land.

During a Legislative Assembly
meeting on Thursday, 9 September, Mr. Miller, the MLA representative for North
Side, read out a BBC online report that outlined the UK government’s plan to
stop wheel clampers operating on private land in England and Wales.

Legislation banning the wheel
clampers is due to be introduced in the UK in November and will include
penalties for anyone clamping a vehicle on private land or towing it away.

One case in the UK cited as an
example of “cowboy clampers” was of a nurse whose car was clamped while she was
visiting a patient and who was told she had to pay £350 to retrieve her car,
with an additional £50 for each hour she failed to pay the clamp release fee.

The proposed new law in the UK
involves granting a licence to wheel clamp operators by the security industry
authority which would authorise them to hand out penalty tickets to people who
park illegally on private land.


Complaints in George Town

Mr. Miller said he had received
complaints about wheel clampers operating in George Town.

“I would invite the premier and the
attorney general to confirm the government plans to follow the UK and outlaw
this wheel clamping, at least, given the pending action in the UK.

“I invite the government to
announce it will be terminating any contracts it has with wheel clampers who
clamp vehicles on government property. I further invite the government to bring
appropriate certification in November to accomplish what the UK is doing,” Mr.
Miller said.

Premier McKeeva Bush responded that
he did not “just jump up and do anything because somebody does a news report”,
saying that facts had to be ascertained before a decision was made.

He said that he would not be “just
following the UK on any particular matter unless it is properly checked out,”
adding that the government had already given an undertaking that it would
address the issue of wheel clamping in Cayman and that the attorney general’s
office was currently looking into the matter.

In one case on Monday, a nurse was
clamped while visiting a patient and told to pay £350 to get her car released,
with another £50 charge for every hour she delayed payment.

The planned
legislation in the UK, announced by the Home Office, is due to be introduced in
the government’s Freedom Bill and will mean that more than 2,000 existing clamping
licences will be revoked. Under the new law, private firms will still be able
to ticket parked cars, with only police and local councils allowed to remove or
clamp a vehicle in exceptional circumstances, such as a car blocking a road.