A WOMAN claims she was singled out for being female by a wheel clamper who demanded £180 to free her car from a plot behind a busy Ferndown shopping area.

Amanda White, 41, parked on an area behind Lloyds TSB in Victoria Road. When she returned two minutes later, her car was clamped. “I’ve been parking there for 25 years and thought the bays were for the bank,” she said.

“Eventually, the clamper agreed to accept £100 and my car was released. During this time, he told two men to move on or they’d be clamped.

“Why didn’t he say that to me?”

She was given a payment receipt headed FSW Security. The “F” had been added at the front of the company name in ballpoint pen.

Last year, the Echo reported that SW Security had clamped a motorist in central Bournemouth without any authority from the landowner.

The company said it had been a mistake and refunded the driver.

The man who clamped Mrs White, Shaun House, explained that FSW had been formed by a merger of First Step Security and SW Security, and that none of SW’s previous owners or operatives was involved.

“We are operating 100 per cent with the landlord’s authority and 100 per cent within the law,” he said.

Mr House added that businesses had to pay a fee so that their employees could use the car park, and it was clear the area was not for public use.

“Altogether there are probably about 15 signs in that car park indicating to motorists that they could be clamped,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have targeted anybody – I saw the men get out of their cars and walk to the bank, so I explained it was a permit-only car park. There’s a one hour free car park 50 metres away.”

Security Industry Authority spokeswoman Amy Cope said anyone who felt a clamper’s behaviour was threatening or criminal should call the police.