London

Driver's 30-hour protest in Wembley over clamped car

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Media captionHaroon Zafaryab: "I stayed in the car for about 30hrs and they were looking to charge me £4,000"

A man sat in his car for 30 hours to prevent it being towed away after it was clamped.

Haroon Zafaryab began the protest in Wembley on Wednesday when he returned from Ramadan prayers to find his car clamped and was asked to pay £365.

He said that, as he sat in the vehicle, all four wheels were clamped and about 40 tickets were stuck to its window, amounting to £3,565 in fines.

Citywatch Parking Enforcement has refused to comment on the issue.

Details of the incident emerged as ministers announced plans to ban clampers from all private land in England and Wales.

Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone said the move would be introduced in the government's Freedom Bill in November, and could come into force early next year.

The protest

Mr Zafaryab, 27, of Kingsbury, who owns a nursery and works in a medical supplies company, said he was willing to pay the £100 fine for parking on private land, without permit, behind a parade of shops in Copeland Mews.

He said he carried out his vigil on behalf of "everyone who's ever got a ticket".

"I sat in my car when I got the initial clamp," he said.

"They tried charging me £365 for the initial clamp. I questioned why and they said because I've been here more than two hours and in my heart of hearts I knew it was wrong.

"They were using scaremongering tactics and kept on plastering the stickers.

"I even sought legal advice. They (lawyers) said 'what does it say on the board' and I read it out and they said 'these stickers they mean nothing. They are just trying to scare you so just be patient.'"

Image caption Mr Zafaryab was issued 40 tickets and all four wheels were clamped

The father-of-one added: "I was saying that this is just a test and I've got to be patient.

"People were bringing us food because I had to break my fast at sunset and before sunrise I had to eat again. So the community and the Wembley mosque committee were bringing me food, milk with rose syrup and dates and my wife brought some food from home."

He added: "The number of tickets I counted was approximately 40 so if you imagine each ticket costs £80 and it goes up every half-an-hour."

Two tow trucks also turned up, keeping an around-the-clock watch on Mr Zafaryab.

"I'm not a spiteful person and at one point we even offered them food because we feel bad for them," he added.

On Thursday evening, Mr Zafaryab's car was finally released after he paid £100. He said he planned to challenge the fine in court.

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