May 22 2013 Latest news:
by Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Thursday, August 30, 2012
A couple who were clamped in the car park of the New World Pool and Snooker Club in Ilford filmed parts of their two-hour ordeal, including the moment when a clamper knocked a woman’s phone to the floor as she tried to film him.
Mr and Mrs Lee (not their real names), were shopping in Ilford earlier this month when they pulled into the car park in Opal Mews, off Ley Street.
Mr Lee said they followed the car wash signs at the entrance and stopped behind a large sign to wait.
He added: “When a man came and knocked on the window I thought it was a guy from the car wash.
“But they were clamping me in my blind spot on the rear left hand wheel.”
Mr and Mrs Lee said their engine was running at the time. Their videos, taken later, show discussions with clamping officers.
The first video (see above) shows Mr Lee attempting to film an identification card. The officer says: “You can look at it but you can’t film it.”
Mr Lee then films another member of Securak staff, a parking warden, getting in a car.
The warden drives off, appearing to bump Mr Lee with his car, before stopping at the car park exit and the camera goes blank.
In the second video (see link), Mrs Lee’s phone goes blank after a clamping officer says “don’t put that in my face”.
Former Securak director Kevin Stokes confirmed that a staff member knocked the phone out of her hand.
He added: “She started to film and they pushed her hand out of the way and knocked her phone on the floor.
“My guys don’t mind being filmed but when someone is thrusting a camera in their face that can be quite threatening.”
Mr Stokes, who did not arrive at the scene until after filming had finished, said: “They deducted the cost of repairs from the clamping charge.”
He said the man in the black smart car was a Securak parking warden who “just wanted to get out of there”.
The videos also show another family being clamped at the same time.
Majinder Randhawa said he was with his wife and two sons with the engine running when he was clamped. He paid £475 for the vehicle to be released.
Mr and Mrs Lee left the car park almost two hours after arriving, paying £225 for the clamp to be released.
Mrs Lee said: “My husband has a long-term illness and he needed to take medicine so we had to pay and go home. We didn’t have a choice.
“I can’t sleep since it happened, I’ve had insomnia.”
Police have been called to the New World Pool and Snooker Club car park 38 times during clamping disputes since April 2010.
Most were recorded as civil disputes but some were noted as violence against the person and highway disruption.
Securak is not an “approved operator” of the British Parking Association, but its clampers are individually licensed by the Security Industry Authority.
Clamping will become illegal in October and the company plans to switch to a mix of pay and display machines and parking tickets.
Mr Stokes said: “To be honest, I’m looking forward to the ban. I’m sick of all the stick with clamping.
“We get so many excuses about the car wash and about people waiting for friends but at the end of the day they shouldn’t stop there.”