2/19/2008UK: London Parking Control Employees Held Hostage
Essex, UK apartment residents held London Parking Control employees hostage until they agreed to release booted vehicles.
UK apartment residents on Friday used a private car booting firm's own tactics to secure the release of their immobilized vehicles. The incident began when a pair of London Parking Control employees dressed in black showed up early at the upscale Kenway development located at Southend-on-Sea, Essex. The company hoped to earn £125 (US $250) for the release of each vehicle booted for alleged failure to display an up-to-date parking permit.
"I'm disgusted," resident Scott O'Brien, 20, told the London Evening Standard newspaper. "I was parked in my designated space and I didn't receive a letter or permit or anything."
After eleven cars were booted, a group of five cars belonging to various friends of apartment dwellers arrived on the scene to block the apartment entrance, trapping the London Parking Control van. Although two residents on urgent business were forced to pay the clampers, the rest stood firm for three hours. London Parking Control then relented and freed the remaining vehicles. Unused to being immobilized itself, the company is considering pressing charges.
"Our legal team are currently liaising with Essex police to find out if the barracking was illegal in any way," the company said in a statement.