Police have been given a new power to protect the public from unscrupulous wheel clampers.
Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, it is now a criminal offence to clamp or tow away a vehicle on private land without lawful authority.
The ban will end the practice whereby rogue clamping firms prey on motorists by charging excessive release fees, displaying unclear signage and resorting too readily to towing away vehicles. It is estimated that the ban will save motorists about £55 million each year in clamping charges.
The offence will be punishable by an unlimited fine before the Crown Court for more serious cases, or up to £5,000 in the Magistrates’ Court.