Courts to decide if clamping is legal

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The Independent Online
THE LEGALITY of wheel- clamping in England and Wales is to be tested in the High Court.

Two judges yesterday gave Brian Grove, a photographer and model agency proprietor, leave to apply for a ruling that the unregulated activities of clamping companies amount to 'theft and blackmail' and should be outlawed.

Lord Justice Brown, sitting with Mr Justice Buckley, agreed that Mr Grove had 'an arguable case' for seeking judicial review of police refusal to prosecute companies.

Mr Grove, 32, of Lancaster, said the Scottish courts had already held that, except where authorised by legislation, clampers commit the offences of theft and extortion.

Lord Justice Brown said: 'It is perhaps in the light of the decision in Scotland that it is time that somebody authentically determined what is the true legal position (in England and Wales) with regard to wheel-clamping.'

While a law student at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, Mr Grove left his vehicle in a university car-park without a permit and had to pay pounds 50 to have it released by National Clamps. He made a formal complaint of theft and/or blackmail, but Preston police said it was their policy not to become involved in clamping cases.