First the Queen, now clamping firm targets on-call GP

WATCH OUT The doctor's car was clamped at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth
WATCH OUT The doctor's car was clamped at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth
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A FIRM who once clamped the Queen has again come under fire, this time for targeting a doctor visiting a dying woman.

Dr Shruti Singh couldn’t believe her eyes when she returned to her car after calling an ambulance for her 81-year-old patient and discovered she had been clamped.

Despite pleading with an employee of Waterlooville-based firm Shoal Enforcement – and clearly displaying an essential visitors’ permit – she was forced to pay a £215 fine before she could continue her rounds.

The incident happened in the residential part of Gunwharf Quays close to where a clamper working for the same company immobilised an unmarked police car providing security for the Queen last year.

To make matters worse the woman who the doctor was looking after – grandmother Marion Spong – died in hospital three days later.

Her daughter Sally Brett also lives at Gunwharf Quays and told The News she was horrified to learn the woman who had taken such good care of her mother had been clamped – just for doing her job.

‘It is just an utter nonsense,’ she said. ‘She could have been visiting a sick child next, or someone in the same situation as my mother, it’s ridiculous that this can happen.’

Mrs Spong’s grandaughter Nicola Howell, 35, said she has written to industry regulator the Security Industry Authority to complain about Shoal.

She said: ‘It is a disgrace. They clearly haven’t learned anything from having one of their employees prosecuted last year.’

Dr Singh, who works at the Osbourne Practice in Southsea, arrived at around 1pm on Thursday, January 26 to treat Mrs Spong but immediately realised she required hospital care. Paramedics then took her to Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, in an ambulance.

Managing director of Shoal, Mike Eames, said: ‘I can confirm Shoal immobilised a car while parked in a clearly marked private bay, at Eastside Plaza.

‘There was no indication the vehicle was or did belong to a doctor on call and was not accompanied by any kind of emergency vehicle.

‘We advise all drivers to follow Shoal’s appeal process and in this case due to the mitigating circumstances it is likely that an appeal would be granted.’

QUEEN’S POLICE OFFICERS CLAMPED

Last October Gareth Andrews, of Privett Road in Fareham, was ordered to pay £750 in fines and £365 in costs after he immobilised a pair of unmarked police cars providing security for the Queen at Gunwharf Quays.

The 39-year-old had clamped an Audi and a BMW on the day the Queen was making an unannounced visit to the marina for a private lunch with her friend Sir Donald Gosling, the NCP founder, on his luxury yacht.

He also pleaded guilty to contravening the Private Security Industry Act by not displaying his badge.