Thwarting the Skipton clamper

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.

7 comments for “Thwarting the Skipton clamper

  1. Moggsy
    March 28, 2012 at 06:49

    Sounds like a stand for liberty. When did it become legal/ok to just seize people’s property (vehicles)?

  2. March 28, 2012 at 07:51

    Moggsy, I didn’t explain well and will now add an intro which explains the situation better.

  3. JD
    March 28, 2012 at 08:11

    ah yes, privatise everything, better and more efficient services…..
    what could possibly go wrong?

  4. Chuckles
    March 28, 2012 at 08:32

    Channelling the superheroes of a simpler age?

  5. Moggsy
    March 28, 2012 at 10:07

    I was saying that it sounds like a good plan to rescue the vehicles. It seems wrong that a car can effectively seized by clamping it. The stores that use these people should be targetted and held responsible.

  6. March 28, 2012 at 10:33

    Chuckles, Moggsy – yes.

    JD – you’re not wrong in mentioning privatisation but what is far more subtle is the policy behind it, something gone into at 11:30 today. There is most certainly the hand of the State in this, the very State which, by definition in your comment, should be running things instead.

    Let the State run things at national level and you get the EU. Let it run things at local level and you get Common Purpose.

  7. ivan
    March 28, 2012 at 19:00

    The one and only time someone did that to me – clamp – they got it back in pieces. Very large high tensile bolt cutters and oxy welding/cutting equipment in the truck.

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