Clout back in his old clamping grounds

LEIGHTON KEITH
Last updated 05:00 20/02/2013
Wheel clamper Daniel Clout
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
BACK ON THE BEAT: Wheel clamper Daniel Clout, of Egmont Security, was again patrolling New Plymouth’s Richmond Centre on Tuesday.

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Wheel clamper Daniel Clout is back on patrol, as investigations into his operation continue, and another into how police have dealt with him is launched.

Daniel Clout was at New Plymouth's Richmond Centre this week with a film crew.

Businesses at the centre had told the Taranaki Daily News Mr Clout had not been patrolling the car park since last month.

He was convicted of assault last month following an on-the-job altercation with a German tourist.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and the New Zealand Security Association are investigating Mr Clout's operation to establish if he should be licensed under the Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Act 2010.

Richmond Centre property manager Robyn McGregor said Mr Clout, of Egmont Security, was authorised to operate in the car park.

"His contract has nothing to do with the public, that's between us and him but he has got authority to be there. We have to have somebody to monitor the car park and it's not everyone's job."

Last month Mr Clout contacted the Daily News to say he was sending 16 individual complaints to the Independent Police Conduct Authority alleging police were making it impossible to do his job.

The IPCA yesterday confirmed it had received Mr Clout's complaints which had been assessed as suitable for a police investigation.

An IPCA spokeswoman said when dealing with complaints the organisation could carry out its own investigation or refer the matter to the police for investigation under the authority's oversight.

New Plymouth police area commander Inspector Blair Telford said the Department of Internal Affairs was responsible for the enforcement of the act.

"In light of the fact that the Department of Internal Affairs is currently investigating Mr Clout's wheel clamping activities, and that enforcement responsibility lies with that department, it is inappropriate for police to comment about the scope and application of the act in general or Mr Clout specifically," Mr Telford said.

Police had received more than 30 calls for assistance from people about Mr Clout and one from Mr Clout himself after the owner of a vehicle he had clamped became threatening, he said.

"These incidents have often required police intervention to prevent further breaches of the peace or criminal offences from occurring as a result of the behaviours of those involved. Our officers will continue to respond to these incidents when notified and, where necessary, will take appropriate action when breaches of the peace or criminal offending is detected."

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Yesterday he declined to comment any further saying he was upset that parts of his story hadn't been told in the Daily News report.

"It wasn't a satisfactory story, so I've got no further comment," he said.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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