Well done Taranaki Police

January 26th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Leighton Keith at Stuff reports:

Wheel clamper claims are making it impossible for him to do his job and he has complained to their watchdog.

His complaint to the Independent Police Conduct Authority () includes transcripts from extraordinary video footage of clashes with motorists, police and a discussion with area commander Inspector Blair Telford.

Can the IPCA issue letters of commendation to the police officers complained about?

The police stance that his work was unauthorised was publicised late last year and he says he has been subjected to an increasing number of attacks from members of the public since then.

He claims police had been undermining his authority by telling people he was acting unlawfully, didn’t hold the required licence to do the job and that they could cut his clamps off.

Excellent public information campaign.

Other footage, shown by Mr Clout to the Taranaki Daily News, appears to show police were present when a man smashed his clamps with a wheelbrace.

That’s appalling. The man may have injured himself. The Police officers should have helped with the smashing.

11 Responses to “Well done Taranaki Police”

  1. Fox (213 comments) says:

    As long as the law allows clamping of cars on private property, I don’t see what the problem is.

    And I suspect that if Police did feel there were sufficient grounds to prosecute, they would have done so by now. They tend to get petty and nasty like that when one of their own has been infringed (as seems to be the case here).

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  2. gazzmaniac (2,842 comments) says:

    It seems that the police have used their power to victimise a man who was going about his lawful business. He’s in the business of enforcing parking fees in private carparks, and if you use a private carpark you should abide by the rules, which are on a sign as you drive in. If you don’t like it, don’t use the carpark.

    The police should be ashamed of themselves. As should you DPF, for your support of them.

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  3. hmmokrightitis (1,917 comments) says:

    No, the police shouldnt be ashamed of themselves, they have done nothing wrong. What hasnt come out is that this arsehole has been clamping cars parked on any private property, even that over which he has no jurisdiction. Mine was parked across a friends driveway on a Saturday evening, as we sat in the backyard enjoying summer. Came out to get jumpers for the kids out of the car, and it had been clamped.

    I rang a mate at the police here in NP, and told him we were about to remove it, and a car with two cops in it turned up just as Clout arrived, dressed as usual in his para military fatigues and his great big mofo dogs in tow.

    We handed him the two pieces of his clamp, neatly cut in two, and told him to fuck off. He is a menace and uses intimidation over women in particular. Good riddance. Funny that he hasn’t raised it with his professional body, the body that he isn’t a member of…

    Deserves everything he gets.

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  4. peterwn (4,284 comments) says:

    There are only two possible mandates for clamping on private property:
    1. ‘Distress Damage Feasant’ – an ancient self-help right to remove and impound trespassing cattle, vehicles etc from private property. This right however disappears if the owner of the trespassing property is present or turns up during the removal. Its application to clamping is dubious since ‘distress Damage Feasant’ is about removal of trespassing items, not seizing them in situ pending payment of ‘damages’.
    2. A claimed contract between the property occupier and the owner or driver of the vehicle allegedly permitting the impounding or removal of the vehicle. A police officer cannot really be expected to assess where there is a contract or not an the spot. The best the police officer can do is ask for the name and address of the driver if present so the property occupier can sue. Since there is no lawful basis for the clamp being on a vehicle the owner or driver would have a defence against wilful damage when removing the clamp but would need to return the remains to the clamp’s owner if asked to do so. It would be easier to claim a ‘contract’ where the occupier offers or ‘invites to treat’ parking such as a supermarket car park or a private ‘pay and display’ area.

    A few interesting things:
    1. Letting down the tyres of a car when improperly parked on private property is an offence even if there is a prominent sign threatening such action.

    2. Breaking the gate padlock of a yard where towed vehicles are stored is wilful damage.

    3. If a car unlawfully parked in a building catches fire (assuming no negligence on the owner’s or driver’s part), the building owner cannot claim the cost of repairing the damage – because there was no negligence.

    4. I understand that a tow operator in Wellington many years ago was taken to court for car conversion on several occasions and acquitted. The police prosecutor used different’fact sets’ to ‘distinguish’ the cases to attemp-t to sidestem the precedence of the previous cases. The operator finally sued the police for $100,000. He was awarded $1 but got the precedents he needed to exercise ‘Distress Damage Feasant’.

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  5. flipper (5,297 comments) says:

    Good stuff DPF
    I was once clamped and cut the clamp with bolt cutters I happened to have in my 4WD
    I left them on the ground with a note telling them that if they did it again, I would cut them again.
    I never heard from.
    I parked there again and was never, ever, clamped.
    I might add, that I was parked legally, in private property, in the first place…and subsequently .

    No matter what peterwn says, the acceptance of wheel clamping is just a fraction short of extortion.
    Try keeping a football kicked over a neighbours fence!

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  6. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Clout sounds like something you should do to this sad individual at every opportunity.

    The trick will be for someone diligent to find out how many times he has applied for the police and been rejected, how many times he was found unsuitable for the army , how many times he was asked not to re-apply for the Territorials. To not have a Certificate of Approval raises real concerns.

    His library card will show his reading consists of everything written by Chris Ryan and he will know the SAS Survivalist handbook by heart.

    He will also have drunk his own piss a lot more often than Bear Gryll’s, he is a true legend

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  7. Michael (1,065 comments) says:

    If anyone needs a car park in Thorndon, park in DPFs outside his apartment. He won’t do anything about it!

    While it is annoying to get clamped or towed, it shouldn’t happen unless you are parking with the consent of the private property owner. If you have followed the rules, you have many ways of obtaining recourse.

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  8. jakejakejake (195 comments) says:

    haha Pauleastbay…comment of the week

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  9. peterwn (4,284 comments) says:

    flipper – I think ‘Damage Distress Feasant’ might apply to a football kicked over a fence if it caused damage (eg flattening plants or breaking a window). If it costs the owner money (eg a call-out for commercial premises) then the owner would be entitled to keep the ball AFAIK until reasonable costs or damages are paid. The owner of the ball could try and cite the case where a batsman knocked a six, the ball went over the stadium and injured a passer-by. Result – no damages as such a ‘six’ was not foreseeable and the cost of a very tall fence would be prohibitive.

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  10. Naturesong (23 comments) says:

    “Late last year he angered police by clamping one of their unmarked cars, and refused to remove the clamps until he was paid.

    Subsequently, he was told in a letter from Mr Telford (area Commander) he could be liable for prosecution for working without a licence.

    Mr Telford wrote that he was putting Mr Clout on formal notice that if he continued to conduct his “property guard activities” without either a licence or a certificate of approval, he was likely to be committing an offence and could be prosecuted.

    Mr Telford said yesterday if Mr Clout was dissatisfied, the authority was the correct body to raise his concerns.”

    So … pissing of the local constabulary and potentially acting illegally?

    Clout chooses the path of most resistance, and then complains about it. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer is he?

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  11. hmmokrightitis (1,917 comments) says:

    Naturesong, no, in the short time I spoke with him he didn’t come across as anything other than a labour voter.

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