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Joe Duffy leads way in call for clamping watchdog

RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy has spoken out about the injustices of clamping and called for an Ombudsman to monitor the issue.

On Liveline yesterday, Duffy was inundated by irate callers from all over the country who felt they had been unjustly clamped and fined €120.

Duffy told his listeners: "We had people on the other day who did win appeals but they got half [of the fine returned] in Rosslare car park because you now drive in, there's no barrier and they presumed you pay on the way out and they went to Holyhead for the weekend and they came back a few days later and they had a €480 from NCPS."

Duffy asked whether there was any person or group which reviewed the appeals, or the work of the clampers.


"Who can investigate this? Is there an Ombudsman? Is there anyone that can look at this whole area of clamping, this whole issue of hospitals, and supermarkets, shopping malls and apartment blocks farming out this," he said.

The broadcaster described the clamping industry as "very lucrative" and asked if motorists should be charged less than the full €120 fine in some car parks.

"Did anyone ever say, 'If you're an hour over, the fine will be €10 and you can pay it by putting it into the machine and get a sticker which you can hand to the de-clamper?'"

He added: "In Scotland they banned clamping in private car parks. There was a political campaign there."

An NCPS spokesperson told the Herald: "NCPS is preparing a statement in response to recent matters."

The NCPS website says its revenue has gone up 40pc every year for past five years, and the company has been one of fastest growing businesses over the same period.