It has been announced by the Government today (Tues 1st May) that vehicle immobilisation activity will be an offence in England and Wales from October 2012.
Until this change comes into force, anyone undertaking vehicle immobilisation activity must ensure that they are properly licensed to do so. Holders of an SIA Vehicle Immobiliser licence that expires before this time must either:
- Cease this activity on expiry of the licence; or
- Renew the licence if they wish to undertake vehicle immobilisation in England and Wales until October.
From October it will be an offence in England and Wales to clamp, tow or immobilise a vehicle without lawful authority. SIA licensing of vehicle immobilisation does not apply in Scotland. Vehicle immobilisation in Northern Ireland will continue to be subject to Security Industry Authority licensing.
The SIA requires compliance with the law at all times and in the months prior to the ban will continue enforcement work, along with Trading Standards and the Police. Anyone immobilising a vehicle without an SIA licence is committing an offence and risking prosecution, as are landowners who allow unlicensed operatives to immobilise vehicles on their land.
The validity of an SIA licence can be checked on the online register of licence holders: www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/rolh