Police bust saw-wielding motorist attempting to remove clamp
Eamonn & James Clarke
A motorist in Manchester has been caught preparing to remove a clamp from his vehicle using a petrol-powered saw.
Police in the Deansgate area of the city centre discovered the man, who had fired up the powerful circular saw, at around 11pm on Monday.
The Daily Mail reports that the motorist had been attempting to remove the bright yellow clamp from his BMW 3 Series saloon.
The car had been immobilised by the DVLA as it was understood not to be taxed. It was just one of many vehicles targeted in the city as part of an overnight sting operation.
The man was caught in the act before actually taking the saw to the clamp, and therefore managed to avoid being arrested for criminal damage. It is not known if any other action was taken.
While clamping on private land has been outlawed – largely to curb abuses by cowboy parking companies – the DVLA still has the authority to immobilise cars it believes aren't taxed.
Drivers can make a statutory off-road declaration (SORN), exempting the vehicle from taxation, provided the car is not used or parked on a public road. Motorists flouting SORN declarations are liable to have their cars seized.
Those who have had their cars clamped by the DVLA are required to prove they have bought tax, or pay a £700 deposit to have it removed. Removal fees increase the longer the clamp is left in place.
The DVLA also has the power to crush or sell cars in order to recoup costs, should the driver refuse to pay up.