Disabled driver furious with car clampers

A DISABLED woman called police after spending two hours pleading with car clampers to let her go. Hayley Waite, 24, from Dagenham, was on her lunch break with a friend when her car was clamped at the Cherry Tree Pub in Rainham. The receptionist has been w

A DISABLED woman called police after spending two hours pleading with car clampers to let her go.

Hayley Waite, 24, from Dagenham, was on her lunch break with a friend when her car was clamped at the Cherry Tree Pub in Rainham.

The receptionist has been wheelchair-bound for most of her life, and still relies on her car to get around.

She said: "I didn't know that the clamping was coming into place."

She had parked there for a few minutes to get a portion of chips, before going into the pub for a drink with a friend.

When she returned the car had been immobilised by staff from Securak, a private clamping company.

Most Read

She asked their enforcement officers if she could pay the release fee of �125 by card, but was told that it had risen to �375 because the tow truck had already been called.

She said: "He hadn't even given me the option before calling the towing truck."

Two other drivers were said to have paid the �375 fee and driven off, while another two were still discussing the matter with the clampers.

She said: "I told them 'you can't take my car away, I'm disabled, I need it.' I got a bit distressed at this point. I was standing there for two hours in the heat. In the end I called police."

Neither Securak staff nor pub staff could produce a contract to show the police officers they had acted legally.

The drivers, apart from the two who had paid and left, were let off as a result.

Securak contracts manager, Andrew Martin, who was called to the incident, said: "The police wanted to see the contract, but it was in Brentwood and it would have taken one-and-a-half hours to get it. For the sake of two cars, we let them go. The lady with the disabled badge was being let off anyway."

He added that there were signs clearly stating that illegal parkers would be clamped.

The incident happened in the same week that the AA motoring group called for wheel clamping by private companies to be banned, and branded the industry 'immoral' and 'out of control.'

Drivers are being charged up to �500 for their towed cars to be returned to them, and the industry needs an independent appeals panel, say the AA.

Mr Martin added: "I know �375 is a lot of money, but when we call up for a lorry, we have to pay a tow truck fee."

When approached by Post reporters, the landlord of the Cherry Tree pub declined to comment on the incident.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter