‘Death threats’ over wheel clamp­ings

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - AMANDA SAXTON

An an­tique sales­woman ac­cused of a harsh car clamp­ing cam­paign says she is just pro­tect­ing her prop­erty.

Scores of peo­ple have com­plained about in­suf­fi­cient warn­ing signs and the fine charged to get their wheels un-clamped out­side Bash­ford An­tiques in Grey Lynn.

But owner Jil­lian Bash­fordEvers says since the five park­ing spa­ces are on her land, af­ter­hours park­ers are do­ing ‘‘the equiv­a­lent of pulling up on some­one’s front lawn’’.

‘‘These peo­ple have defe­cated here, there’s been drug deal­ing, pros­ti­tu­tion, and van­dal­ism ... No res­i­dent should have to tol­er­ate that be­hav­iour on their doorstep,’’ she says.

Bash­ford-Evans de­scribed her store as a ‘‘liv­ing-show­room’’ as she re­sides in an apart­ment above, and says the car parks were for cus­tomers, friends, and fam­ily only.

The high-end na­ture of her prod­ucts - rare and ex­pen­sive an­tiques - make se­cu­rity an extra pri­or­ity, she says.

Bash­ford-Evers re­sorted to hav­ing cars clamped in June af­ter re­peated calls to Auck­land Tow­ing failed to de­ter peo­ple from park­ing on her turf.

She erected pri­vate prop­erty sig­nage but ‘‘peo­ple con­stantly re­moved it’’, she says.

‘‘Re­ally in the last five years that park­ing prob­lem has es­ca­lated. I’ve had to go to ex­treme mea­sures, but it’s worked.’’

She says the per­son who does the clamp­ing is a friend of hers, and it’s ‘‘nei­ther here nor there’’ whether she prof­its from the $220 fine driv­ers are charged to be un­clamped.

Ag­gres­sive be­hav­iour has been a com­mon re­ac­tion to the clamp­ing, she says.

Bash­ford-Evans is ’’com­pletely un­fazed’’ by the com­plaints, which she says even in­cluded death threats by phone.

‘‘To be hon­est, the peo­ple who’ve been re­ally ag­gres­sive - they’re not our cus­tomers and they wouldn’t be in a mil­lion years.’’

Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion prin­ci­pal ad­vi­sor Mark Stock­dale has pre­vi­ously said the AA would like to see wheel clamp­ing banned.

Wheel clamp­ing is banned in the United King­dom.

Stock­dale says the vol­un­tary code of con­duct on pri­vate land en­cour­ages com­pa­nies to use a breach no­tice be­fore any en­force­ment is used.

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