Statistics relating to wheel clamping in Southampton have shown a decline in its occurrence since Southampton City Council altered and published its policy that it does not clamp cars in the city. It went on to say that the intention was for them to monitor and police all parking enforcement companies in the area.
In 2005 the council implemented guidelines and licensing for wheel clampers operating in Southampton and its surrounds to ensure that the industry in closely monitored. This change was brought about dues to the operation of several “underhand” wheel clampers who were found to be intentionally using poor signage and whose costs for vehicle release were far in excess of other places in the county.
Wheel clamping in Southampton ensures that SIA regulations are met, as licences must be obtained in order to operate. Those wanting to start up a parking enforcement company of this kind must undergo an identity and criminal records check and pass a five-day training course.
What’s more is that the SIA maintain a public register of licensed vehicle clampers, their supervisors, managers and directors. They ensure that when working, vehicle clampers are always required to wear and display their SIA licences. They must also be identifiable, accountable and responsible for their decisions relating to wheel clamping in Southampton.
Southampton was one of the first areas to be effected in this way, but many boroughs have followed suit over the last five to six years to ensure that people within the industry conduct themselves and their business to a high level of professional standard, through training and licensing.
The local media and public embraced these changes, with the general consensus being that wheel clamping in Southampton is no longer a questionable industry. Whilst clamping undoubtedly still takes place, it is largely by reputable firms, who have the backing of the council and who are generally regarded as not just a money making operation.