Abuse drives traffic wardens out of jobs

Parking enforcement officers on patrol.

Parking enforcement officers on patrol.

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All of the “traffic wardens” who started patrolling the streets last December have been driven from their jobs by abusive motorists.

Almost daily tirades from drivers caught flouting parking restrictions has been blamed for the high turnover of staff.

The shocking revelation has been made by Lincolnshire County Council, which is responsible for the scheme operated through APCOA.

Parking services manager Mick Phoenix said: “Not one patrol officer who started when the civil parking scheme launched in December is still a patrol officer in Lincolnshire now.

“They receive abuse from motorists and even in the least serious cases, let’s just say they are subject to the odd quiet word from drivers.”

In South Holland the parking enforcement officers have received a mixed response.

Some have welcomed their work to ensure parking restrictions are enforced, while others have accused them of being heavy-handed.

Punchbowl pub landlord Pete Williams was one of those left fuming after two cars parked outside his pub on Easter Monday – a bank holiday – were given tickets.

He claimed parking enforcement officers were driving people away from the town centre for fear of being landed with a ticket.

On the Lincolnshire Free Press Facebook page, one reader said: “If they weren’t so rude to people in the first place, the public wouldn’t be so abusive back.”

South Holland district councillor Gary Taylor’s whose ward includes the town centre, said the enforcement officers do need to display a degree of commonsense.

He said: “If they are heavy handed or jobsworths obviously people are not going to like it.

“But if they use common sense and are just doing their job then it is shocking that they are facing abuse on a daily basis.

“I have seen them in action and from the feedback I have received they are doing a good job of enforcing the parking restrictions.”

Another Facebook comment said: “I can’t believe there are so many uncouth and violent drivers who would attack a person doing their job.”

Lincolnshire County Council parking services manager Matt Jones said: “On record, our parking enforcement officers have been subjected to about 35 cases of abusive or threatening behaviour.

“However, this number does not reflect the true extent of the problem.

“Wardens often face abuse on a daily basis.”