Attempt to remove wheel clamps fails

YVETTE BATTEN
Last updated 05:00 15/12/2012

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An encounter with an allegedly over-zealous wheel clamper in New Plymouth has been caught on camera.

The clip, posted on YouTube, filmed by clamper target Matthew Sagen, appeared earlier this week.

As well as a description of what transpired, it shows Daniel Clout, of Egmont Securities, struggling to remove clamps from Mr Sagen's car after he had paid his fine.

Mr Sagen's clamping occurred about 7.30pm on Friday, December 7. He parked his car in the gravel area beside Judd Opticians, hazard lights on, while retrieving heavy musical equipment from King Street Recording Studio.

When he came back to his car a few minutes later he found two wheels clamped.

When Mr Clout told him to pay $120 Mr Sagen said he rang the police.

"They confronted this gentleman [Mr Clout] and told him that they believed he was acting unlawfully," Mr Sagen said.

Mr Clout was not in uniform, had an unmarked car and did not produce a licence when approached by the police.

"There was nothing that they could do in terms of arresting him," Mr Sagen said.

"They told me that if I had tools to do so that they would stand and protect my right to remove the clamps on my own and he couldn't do anything about it."

Mr Sagen said he decided to pay the fee, but for some unexplained reason, the clamps would not come loose.

Eventually Mr Clout refunded Mr Sagen's money and said he would have to destroy the clamps to get them off the car.

Mr Sagen believes there should be firmer guidelines in this grey area to protect both the clamper and the clamped.

Mr Clout declined to comment.

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