Category Archives: Law Changes
On 1st May the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 was given Royal Assent. The Act covers many
freedoms, but one of the things it does it to outlaw wheel clamping of vehicles on private land.
The Act does this by creating a criminal offence in Section 54. This provides that the offence is
committed by a person who immobilises a motor vehicle by attaching an immobilising device to it,
or restricts the movement of the vehicle by any means, and if the person intends to prevent the
removal of the vehicle by someone who is entitled to move it.
The Act also deals with the issue of implied consent. It specifically provides that express or
implied consent to the immobilisation of the vehicle is not a lawful authority for the purpose of this
Act and the offence is still committed. This means that any Notices which warn people of
clamping will not be effective to let the clamper get round the offence. However, where the
restriction of movement is caused by a barrier which was present (whether or not lowered) when
the vehicle was parked, the closing or lowering of that barrier will be effective to provide an
implied consent and therefore will give the clamper a defence.
The punishment for the offence is a fine.
For many private estates wheel clamping has been used as a tool to prevent unauthorised
parking. A land owner who previously used clamping as a way of restricting this unauthorised
use will now have to think again. The use of a fixed barrier may not be a desirable option, but it
may be the only thing left for a land owner to use.
This Act has been brought about by the actions of cowboy clampers and is another example of
the way in which rogue elements can effect private individuals’ positions in the longer term.
If you would like any more information about this or any other ways in which to restrict
unauthorised use of land please let me know.