Body cameras will be worn by parking officers to stop them being ‘abused and attacked’.
Over the past 14 months, Civil Enforcement Officers have dealt with an increasing number of aggressive incidents – according to Mid Sussex District Council.
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 Civil Enforcement Officers.Councillor Gary Marsh
There have been 25 separate cases of verbal and physical abuse, which the council said causes ‘considerable distress’ to the staff and witnesses involved.
“Our Civil Enforcement Officers are all trained in conflict management and they know how to defuse a heated situation,” said Councillor Gary Marsh, cabinet member for Economic Development and Property.
“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.
“Our Civil Enforcement Officers do an important job, helping to keep our roads safe and enabling people to find somewhere to park their car in busy areas.
“They have a right to go about their work without fear of abuse or threats of violence.
“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 Civil Enforcement Officers.
“If it doesn’t, Sussex Police will be presented with the video evidence and we will take action to ensure offenders are prosecuted.”
Mid Sussex District Council reports all incidents to Sussex Police and the new body worn video cameras will help them to take action against offenders.
The cameras will remain off for most of the day and will only be used when Penalty Charge Notices are issued or during an abusive incident.
A spokesman for the district council said: “Members of the public will always be informed if they are being recorded and will be able to see when recording is taking place, as the images will be displayed live on the camera’s screen.”
He added that data from the cameras is encrypted and will be stored ‘securely’.
The council’s parking services team enforces restrictions such as double-yellow lines and disabled parking bays.