‘Zero tolerance’ to abuse after two parking officers physically assaulted

Two parking officers were assualted.

Two parking officers were assualted. - Credit: Archant

Two parking officers were physically assaulted in Weston town centre last week.

North Somerset Council and Avon and Somerset police have adopted a 'zero tolerance approach' to threatening and aggressive behaviour against parking officers following two incidents where officers were physically assaulted, resulting in hospital treatment.

Town centre and urban neighbourhood policing team Sergeant, Lee Kerslake, said: "We won't tolerate threatening behaviour and we are working closely with council colleagues to investigate these incidents of abuse.

"We have also incorporated a regular police presence to support the parking wardens into our patrols plans.

"While I can appreciate the frustration people feel with themselves, I would suggest they need to ensure they are adhering to the relevant parking restrictions and conditions to prevent this from happening in the first place.

"Being abusive, threatening or violent towards parking wardens is not acceptable and could potentially mean you end up with more than just a parking fine."

Parking officers wear bodycams which are used to help resolve disputes and identify perpetrators of assaults.

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Cllr Mark Canniford, the council's executive member responsible for parking strategy, added: "Our officers are there to make sure drivers park legally and responsibly in the town centre.

"Being issued with a ticket for illegal parking is never an excuse to abuse our officers.

"Abusing someone, either physically or verbally, for simply doing their job is completely unacceptable.

"If anyone has an issue with the way a parking offence has been handled, or with any of the parking team, they should make a formal complaint via the proper channels.

"We will not tolerate aggression, intimidation or harassment of any of our employees.

"All incidents have been, and will continue to be, reported to the police."

An online appeal process is in place for anyone who believes they have been issued a penalty charge notice incorrectly.

For more information, log on to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/cpe