A uniformed police officer has been caught on film using a pair of bolt cutters to try and remove a wheel clamp from an unmarked patrol car.
The male officer sprung into action after clampers immobilised the vehicle - being used by a plainclothes female officer - and refused to remove the clamp.
The WPC parked her car illegally near he Pheasant pub in Ashford, Kent, after being called out to investigate a 'minor crime'.
But within minutes of parking her car, it was clamped by workers for Parking Control Services (PCS).
When she returned to find her silver Peugeot 206 out of action on July 15 she called for uniformed assistance.
Senior officers then called the head of PCS, Martin Harries, and ordered him to remove the clamp immediately.
Mr Harries, however, refused and told the police they would have to stump up £200 to get the clamp taken off.
It was at this point that a male uniformed officer, who had since arrived on the scene, pulled out a pair of bolt cutters and set about trying to remove the clamp.
A member of the public filmed the officer desperately trying to shear through the metal chain attached to the clamp before he gave up after realising the cutters couldn't shear through the metal.
Onlooker Graham Hardy, 24, said: 'It was quite an odd scene. This policeman just pulled out a pair of bolt cutters and started going at the clamp - something we've all wanted to do.
'But he couldn't get through the chain and they had to get the car towed. It must have been embarrassing for him.'
In the end police called a recovery truck and ordered the car to be driven to Ashford police station.
The next day workers from PCS arrived at the station to remove the clamp, but not before demanding that the police pay them £200, which was promptly handed over.
Mr Harries said: 'We cannot clamp marked police cars but this was an unmarked one. Why should the police be any different to anybody else?'
He added: 'The unmarked car was parked on a walkway and there was no sign it was a police car, so my workers were just doing their job - legally.
'After clamping it we got a call from a police inspector telling us we had to take the clamp off because it was a police car and he said that if we didn't take it off an officer would remove it with bolt cutters.
'They tried to take it off, but couldn't and the car had to be moved. They paid the £200 in the end.'
Chief Inspector John Frayne said: 'An unmarked police vehicle was parked in one of several bays which gave the appearance of being a parking bay.
'This is positioned between parking bays and it would appear that the only difference is a change of brick pattern around it.
'The unmarked police vehicle was clamped and owing to the fact that officers believed the clamping to be unlawful, a lengthy negotiation with the clamping company took place.
'The company refused to remove the clamp and subsequently the vehicle was recovered to Ashford police station. The clamping company have since removed the clamp.'
'The matter is subject to legal proceedings,' he added.
A police spokeswoman said: 'It was also a question of whether we were able to pay a clamping firm out of public money.'
Tags: footage, policeman, trying, WPC, Ashford, Kent, remove, wheel, Parking, Control, Services, clamper, unmarked, patrol, car, clamp, Uniformed, officer, filmed, using, bolt, cutters,
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