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Vehicle Immobilisation: BACKGROUND


What is a licensable activity?

A licensable activity is immobilising a vehicle with an immobilisation device on private land against a release fee.

From 3rd May 2005 it became an illegal act to immobilise a vehicle in this manner without a license. Contravention of this regulation can lead to criminal prosecution. For the individual concerned, this can result in a fine of up to £5,000. Land-owners face fines of to £20,000.

Who needs a licence?

  • Directors, managers, supervisors and/or operatives in undertakings which provide vehicle immobilising, blocking-in or towing-away services.
  • An employer or employee (including directors or partners) engaged in-house or under contract handling vehicle immobilising, blocking-in or towing-away services. Also those who manage or supervise employees or contractors performing these services (even if you are a partner or director), for example, the staff of a supermarket chain who immobilise, block-in or tow-away the cars of shoppers who overstay their welcome in the chain's car parks. This includes those who directly manage or supervise these staff.
  • Private land owners who do their own immobilising, blocking-in or towing-away and charge a release fee. This also includes those who instruct employees to vehicle immobilise, block-in or tow-away from their land.
  • Volunteers, for example, a person helping a vehicle immobiliser attach a wheel clamp on a car.


Training and Qualification

Before you apply for your licence you will need to obtain the SIA recognised qualification.

To ensure you have a licence by the enforcement date of 28 February 2005, the industry body, the SIA, recommends that you apply as soon as possible, and no later than 17 January 2005.

Please note - this does not include the time needed for training in order to meet SIA standards. The SIA currently advise allowing 9 – 14 weeks for the whole of the training and licensing process.



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