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FightBack Forums > Queries > Council Parking Tickets & Clamping and Decriminalised Notices
tjw78
Hi, I am hoping someone here is able to help me. I live in a block of flats with my own parking bay and permit, and the car park is patrolled by a clamping company.

On Friday I was clamped for parking across two bays. I was in my own bay for which I have a permit, with the 2 passenger-side wheels in the adjacent bay. I had parked slightly to one side as my neighbours were loading children into car seats in the bay on the drivers side when I returned home, so I parked to the left to leave them room to do so. The bay I was parked over belongs to my other neighbour who does not have a car and therefore would not obstruct him in any way.

I have had to pay the fine (an extortionate £177) to avoid my car being towed. Do I have grounds for appeal and how should I proceed? I am able to get consent from the neighbour whose bay I was parked in confirming that he doesn't mind etc. if that would help?

Appalled at the conduct of the clamping company, completely disinterested when I explained the situation.

Yours hopefully,
tjw
eddy556
Send a notice before action (NBA) to both the clamping company and the landowner (important). You will get your money back if you follow our advice. Experts advice to follow...
dave-o
First of all, show us the receipt. Obscure your personal details, leave the clamper's.
tjw78
QUOTE (dave-o @ Mon, 8 Feb 2010 - 14:46) *
First of all, show us the receipt. Obscure your personal details, leave the clamper's.


Thanks for the speedy replies! Receipt attached to this post (hopefully, if I can work out how biggrin.gif)


dave-o
Would you agree thast SIA number is supposed to be "0230012183280794"?
There's no such license.

He has not provided a legible name
Signature can't be his proper one
Proper location is not provided.

Overall, that is a big fat FAIL in practically all regards, and we've only seen the receipt so far. Cretins.

You will have plenty of ammo for this.
tjw78
I think the licence number is "0230012183280774" (ends 774 not 794). Easier to read it on the original, my photo isn't that clear apologies.
dave-o
0230012183280774 LEKI LEKI BISUNGU Vehicle Immobilisation Frontline 30/09/2010 Replaced 27/10/

Aha, Leki Leki Bisungu*. I remember him cropping up here before on this forum.

That license number has been replaced, so he shouldn't be using it.


*Krypton Factor challenge - can anyone reconcile the name "Leki Leki Bisungu" with the signature that is displayed on the receipt? That's five letters represented by each "u" shape! On this subject, i wonder if this clamp was applied by the licensee. Would it seem likely to you that the person who clamped you had that name? I.e. if the person was of Scandinavian appearance alarm bells may be ringing.
Gan
The phone numbers are different but is that the same PO Box as the Nighthawk that's clamping for failure to display a tax disc ?
chadders
QUOTE
can anyone reconcile the name "Leki Leki Bisungu" with the signature


Or rather, with the "issuing officers (printed) name".

Also, "location" - must be something descriptive on the receipt.

Immediate fail on their part.
tjw78
Thank you all for your helpful replies!

Is the next step to send a NBA letter stating that the operator has not included his name or a meaningful location? If so is there a template I can use/copy? Have seen several different examples on the forums, but want to make sure i word it correctly.
dave-o
I wouldn't advise a template.

Type up a draft based on the examples you have seen and post it here for people to help fine tune it.

BUT there is no point in doing any of this until you have the landowner/occupier's name and address. We never advise legal action (or threats of) against the clamper alone, as even when you do win they will avoid paying you and often eventually phoenix. You will probably find that Nighthawk already has lots of unpaid CCJs against it.

You will also need to find Nighthawk's real address (i.e. not a PO box).

*EDIT*
Another thread states it as:
Tavern Quay Business Centre, unit 1 , Rope Street, London SE16

Companies House says:
NIGHTHAWK SECURITY SERVICES LIMITED
HAINAULT HOUSE, BILLET ROAD
ROMFORD
ESSEX
RM6 5SX


But i am not convinced that is them.

*EDIT*
Their website says they issue Penalty Charge Notices, and that they control "illegal parking". It also has pseudo-legal advice: http://www.shadow-uk.com/nighthawksecurity/civillaw.asp
jaykay

It would appear you paid with a credit card - if so make a chargeback against the credit card as you were forced to pay under duress.

If they try and fob you off post back here for more advice - they have to refund the transaction if you request it.
tjw78
I did think about a chargeback, but as my car is always parked in the same spot I was worried they may just clamp it again due to non-payment of a previous fine or some other excuse?

Thanks for the Rope St address, I think that's them. I already know the landowner's details so can send my NBA to them too.

In addition to the missing operative name and unclear location, should I mention that my neighbour has granted me permission to use his bay if I need to? I'm sure he would write a letter to this effect if I ask him. Or just stick to the above 2 reasons?

Thanks again for your help and patience.
Gan
Clamping for an unpaid debt is illegal.
Alexis
Do you have a management company you pay a service charge to? Do they employ the clampers?

tjw78
Yes I pay a monthly service charge to the company who manage the block and they employ nighthawk. They are also the landowners as far as the residents car park is concerned.
jaykay
These are my suggestions:

1. Chargeback the credit card.
2. NBA letter to landowner and clamper and pursue if not paid.
3. Get a pair of boltcroppers and get someone else to remove any further clamps.
4. Hand clamp in at a Police Station as lost property.

Anyone ever pawned a wheel clamp? How about a left luggage locker?
tjw78
Hi, Here is my proposed NBA letter. Any suggestions for improvement? Do I address the letter to both the clamping company and the landowners, or send a seperately addressed NBA to each party? So glad to have found this forum! smile.gif


NOTICE BEFORE ACTION

Dear Sirs,

On 5th February 2010 my vehicle was clamped in the XXX Resident's Car Park in Blackheath, SE3 by operatives of your company, for an alleged breach of contract terms. I was charged the amount of £177.15 for the release of the clamping device, invoice number 610.

I am claiming for the return of the full release fee. The reason for my claim is that for a private company to legally clamp a vehicle, the removal operative must abide by the regulations set out in the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (Licences) Regulations 2007. Specifically:

(6) (2) (b) the licensee shall, on collecting any charge for the release of a vehicle that has been immobilised, removed or restricted in accordance with paragraph 3 or 3A of Schedule 2 to the 2001 Act, provide a receipt which contains the information specified in paragraph (3).

(3) The information specified for the purposes of this paragraph is—
(a) the location where the vehicle was immobilised, removed or restricted;
(b) the date on which the vehicle was immobilised, removed or restricted;
© the name and signature of the licensee; and
(d) the licence number of the licensee.

In this case, no valid location was provided. The SIA have stated that "The operative who has undertaken the immobilisation of a vehicle must provide a receipt including, among other information, the location where the vehicle was clamped or towed. This should be the actual location and not a code for the location; any code given would not be providing the information required." Additionally no legible licensee name has been included on the receipt. A copy of this documentation is attached.

Please be aware that if a full refund of the £177.15 release fee is not received by me within seven days of the date of this letter, legal action for recovery of this amount will be initiated in the county court.

Yours faithfully
XXX
dave-o
Were you aware that you ran the risk of being clamped? If not i would also add a point along the lines of Vine v Waltham Forest.

You'll send this to PPC and landowner/occupier seperately.
tjw78
I knew that there was a clamping company operating in the car park, but never dreamt they would clamp me as I had a permit. On the letter that was attached to the permit it does state that cars should occupy only one space in the small print however, so I guess I should leave the NBA as above. Should I also chargeback the card transaction as jaykay suggests, or just pursue it through the courts / NBA route? Thanks for all your help!
dave-o
Chargeback:
Definitely do a chargeback if you paid with card. This will be a whole lot less hassle. You will have to keep at the card company though.

If not:
Do the clamping signs say how much they charge?
tjw78
Just a quick post to say thank you to all who helped me out - the full clamping fee has been refunded to my card by the clamping co! smile.gif All the best, tjw78
dave-o
Well done!

Can you explain though - you say it was refunded by the clampers. Is that what you really mean, or do you mean you got the bank to do a chargeback?
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