Online abuse of Weston’s parking wardens reported to police

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 February 2018

Allan Taylor, North Somerset Council's parking services and civil enforcement manager.

Allan Taylor, North Somerset Council's parking services and civil enforcement manager.

Archant

Incidents of ‘abusive and threatening behaviour’ against Weston-super-Mare’s parking wardens on social media have been reported to the police by North Somerset Council.

The council has spoken out in support of its wardens, stating it will not stand for mistreatment of employees who have a right to do their job ‘without fear of reprisal’.

Parking became the hot topic in the town centre last April when wardens returned to the streets for the first time in 20 years when the council began its civil parking enforcement (CPE) regime.

CPE, which saw the authority take control of North Somerset parking regulation from Avon and Somerset Constabulary, has been heavily criticised by businesses, shoppers and town centre residents.

Wardens too have been criticised for being heavy-handed and implementing the rules without common sense.

And regulations could be bolstered further if Sunday parking charges, which have been mooted by the council, are brought into place.

But the council believes public frustration over the scheme has gone too far, with its wardens subjected to a torrent of threats and abuse on social media.

One warden in particular has been targeted by frustrated motorists, with derogatory posters being shared online and subsequently adorned around the town.

The council has responded sating it will ‘not tolerate abusive, threatening or violent behaviour against our employees’.

A spokesman said: “Regardless of whether these threats are made in person or online, they will be reported to the police and action may be taken against the individuals concerned.

“All of our employees have the right to carry out their duties without fear of reprisal. Some of our officers wear body cameras so that we have evidence of their interactions with the public while at work.

“This is for their own protection and also can be used as evidence in the event there are differences of opinion regarding events.

“In the case of our civil enforcement officers we have recently reported to the police all instances we are aware of where threats or abusive comments have been made on social media.

“If anyone in receipt of a car parking fine wishes to contest it they can do so on our website.”

More from Weston Mercury

A new theatre show will take Weston by storm as Irish river dancers take to the stage.

Read more

A Berrow woman is searching for the family who taught her to walk and talk after she was evacuated to North Somerset in World War Two.

Read more
7 minutes ago

The war memorial in Worle has been refurbished in time for the commemoration of World War One in November.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

Weston’s Playhouse will host Fastlove – A Tribute To George Michael, and the Mercury is giving readers a chance to win tickets to see the show.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:42

Emergency crews have freed a man who was trapped in a car after it careered into a stone wall.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A shortage of telephone equipment and vandalism made headlines in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago. Here is the news from the September 20 edition.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A new Costa Coffee drive-thru is opening at a service station along the M5.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Here’s our weekly gallery of photos from our readers - share yours with us by joining our picture-sharing website - iwitness24.co.uk

Read more
iwitness24
Yesterday, 15:00

People have been invited to give their views on a consultation about extending conservation areas in Weston.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

The dynamic Cornish duo Echo Town will play their new songs to fans at Crofter’s Rights in Bristol.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 8°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists