WHEEL CLAMP STORY- SUNDAY MIRROR- JUNE 2008

We were contacted by Tony Stone who wanted to sell his story about how wheel clampers were getting 5 per vehicle.

Mr Stone had found out about how one firm had been operating with this 'bonus scheme' after successfully arguing in court that his van had been unfairly clamped.

See below to read the full story.

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Exclusive - We reveal wheel clampers get 5 per victim

Sunday Mirror

One of Britain's biggest wheelclamping firms has admitted paying staff a 5 bonus for EVERY motorist they clamp.

The shock admission has raised fears that clampers are openly bending the rules to make more money.

Wing Security became the first firm to admit the "clamping bounty" existed when fed-up motorist Tony Stone challenged a ticket.

Tony, 40, an electrical engineer, had left his van in a bay in Tottenham, North London, where you can only park until 8am. Yet he found it had already been clamped when he arrived just before his time ran out.

Reluctantly he paid the 70 fine as he needed the van for work, but told Wing Security he would appeal.

When the case came to court the firm produced a picture printed with the time 8.10am of Tony's clamped van. But Tony had a mobile phone bill which proved he had called Wing Security four minutes EARLIER, asking for the clamp to be removed.

Judge District Morley said this proved the picture could not have been taken when the firm claimed it had and suggested the time had been altered to look like the clamper had arrived after 8am.

Giving evidence, Wing Security director Mark Austin admitted paying his staff bonuses on top of their 60-a-day wages.

The judge, awarding Tony 170 compensation, said: "I have no doubt the clamper in this case was motivated by the incentives given by this company."

The AA said Wing Security was the first clamping firm to admit paying staff commission. They said this raised serious fears motorists across the country were being unfairly fined.

"If clampers are paid a bonus for every clamp they fit, rules are likely to be broken so they can make more money," an AA spokesman said.

"The wheel-clamping industry needs to be properly regulated because many firms are simply a law unto themselves."

Jo Abbott, of the RAC Foundation, said: "This is yet another outrageous example of the law failing to protect motorists from unfair charges and unscrupulous scams."

A victorious Tony told the Sunday Mirror: "It was bad enough being clamped by a dodgy clamper, but I couldn't believe my ears when I heard that all the staff were also on bonuses.

"It's no wonder they end up breaking the rules. On the day I was clamped, three other cars had also been hit before 8am - but I bet they did not bother appealing. These firms are a making a fortune. I had to take a stand for motorists across the country. These firms should not be allowed to get away with acting like they do."

Wing Security, which works for more than a dozen London councils and major UK housing groups including Sanctuary Housing and Grosvenor, refused to comment.

But a spokesman for Haringey Council, which covers Tottenham and is one of Wing's biggest clients, said it was aware the firm operated a policy of "small 5 bonus incentives" when clamping had been carried out correctly.

An estimated 435,000 motorists had their cars clamped across Britain last year and paid more than 1billion in fines. The Government has warned clamping firms must do more to clean up their act.

"There is a feeling motorists are unfairly penalised by attendants who are only interested in issuing as many tickets as possible," said transport minster Rosie Winterton. "We want to ensure the penalties they issue are fair and justified."

WRONG

According to the firm Wing Security Tony's van was clamped by a member of their staff at 8.10am - 10 minutes after the time when he could park had elapsed.

RIGHT

When Tony appealed he produced his mobile phone records which proved he had asked for the clamp to be removed at 8.06am - four minutes before they said it was put on.

'I decided I had to make a stand'



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