Gravesham parking wardens to wear CCTV cameras from next week after rise in "aggressive incidents"
PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:00 20 July 2016
This content is subject to copyright.
Each camera costs £500
Parking wardens working across Gravesham will be able to record offenders when issuing fines from next week.
The council has spent £4,500 on body cameras, as it claims wardens in the borough have suffered from a rise in aggressive incidents.
Nine civil enforcement officers currently patrol Gravesham’s streets at various times throughout the day.
The measure has been brought in after a parking warden was assaulted outside a school and suffered head injuries.
Despite spending weeks off work, the police were unable to prosecute due to lack of evidence.
Patrols currently monitor on-street and off-street parking restrictions, including school keep clear, double yellow lines, limited waiting and disabled parking bays.
A spokesperson from Gravesham council said: “Over the past 12 months, there has been an increase in aggressive incidents.
“Although verbal and physical abuse is not prevalent, some cause considerable distress to the staff and witnesses involved.”
The cameras will start to be worn from July 25. The officers uniform should clearly warn that the camera may be used.
But officers will only turn them on when issuing fines and if there is any dispute.
John Cubitt is the leader of Gravesham Borough Council.
The Conservative councillor said: “The safety of our officers is paramount and we will not tolerate any level of abuse or physical attack.
“There is an easy way for motorists to avoid a penalty notice - just park legally.
“There is never an excuse to assault or abuse public servants who are doing their jobs.
“Our officers are trained in conflict management and they know how to defuse a situation. However, it can be very difficult to reason with some people and I hope these cameras will make those individuals think twice before they do something they might regret.”
“These officers do an important job, helping to keep our roads safe and enabling people to find somewhere to park in busy areas.”
“I hope these cameras make a difference to the behaviour of the small minority of motorists who try to intimidate, threaten and in some cases, attack our officers”