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Abuse blamed after parking wardens leave jobs

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: July 25, 2013

Every parking warden leaves   after 'abuse'
Comments (22)

Lincolnshire’s parking warden service has seen 100 per cent staff turnover in six months.

Stress and sickness has been blamed for wardens leaving their jobs.

Motorists have physically attacked and threatened the 20-strong team of wardens on virtually a daily basis since Lincolnshire County Council took over responsibility for enforcing on-street parking from police.

Every warden has been given a body camera and GPS tracking device to record the attacks.

Mick Phoenix, parking services manager at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “100 per cent of the team that started on December 3 has been replaced at least once.

"It is down to stress of the job and sickness.

“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."

There have been 35 recorded cases of wardens being threatened since they started work on December 3.

But Matt Jones, parking services officer at the county council, said the number "does not reflect the true extent of the problem, as wardens often face abuse on a daily basis".

Michael Brookes, chairman of the highways and transport scrutiny committee at Lincolnshire County Council, said: "These wardens simply cannot cope.

"It is a massive concern. A 100 per cent staff turnover is as bad as it gets in such a short space of time.

"We need to work very closely with the contractors to make sure the new wardens we are bringing into work on our streets in Lincolnshire are up to the job.

"It must be an extremely difficult job and only a certain person could do it."

Andrew Fitzsimons, spokesperson for APCOA, the contractors for the county's civil parking enforcement scheme, said the body cameras film the wardens' entire shift and any evidence of them being attacked is passed onto police.

“The bodycams and tracking devices provide us with valuable support to ensure we are at close hand at all times to support our team," he said.

"We always report all abuse to the police."

Overall, 22,675 tickets were issued between December 3 and June 30.

Keith Smy, assistant chief constable at Lincolnshire Police, said: "I am concerned to hear the new wardens have suffered verbal and physical abuse at the hands of the motorists they are dealing with.

"I would encourage them to call us to report such incidents.

"It may be that some motorists took advantage of the fact that there was a transition period before the handover was made and took effect.

"Perhaps they became used to ignoring parking regulations and they now take exception to the intervention by the new wardens."

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22 comments

  • Pete67  |  July 26 2013, 10:10AM

    Numb_Chumpy - - - Can I assume you are a qualified electrician, and if so it will save you a lot of money. As for the dentist bit loads of people are now pulling their own teeth because they can't find a dentist. How qualified do you need to be a traffic warden? I'd say at most being able to write, eyesight, bravery and a very thick skin.

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  • TestificateMD  |  July 26 2013, 9:18AM

    There has been a turnover of 20 staff which equates to the full workforce. This doesn't mean all of the officers that started have now left. Camelherder - They enforce parking on carparks where people go over Pay and Display times, they don't issue fines for onstreet parking.

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  • camelherder  |  July 26 2013, 8:27AM

    TestificateMD The City council parking attendants also issue tickets, wear a uniform and get abuse but as far as I am aware all of their employees are still working.

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  • Lincoln_Fan  |  July 25 2013, 8:04PM

    The headline is wrong. This morning I was talking with a Traffic Control Officer who signed up to the job as soon as the initial posts were advertised. He's still doing the job. And let's not forget that these people are paid minimum wage.

    Rate   6
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  • Lincoln_Fan  |  July 25 2013, 8:04PM

    The headline is wrong. This morning I was talking with a Traffic Control Officer who signed up to the job as soon as the initial posts were advertised. He's still doing the job. And let's not forget that these people are paid minimum wage.

    Rate   4
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  • Tots1962  |  July 25 2013, 6:16PM

    Maybe they would not receive as much abuse if they too behaved responsibly. I work for the NHS with Community Nurses and Support workers. One of my colleagues was seen by a warden rummaging in her bag, for an 'all zone parking pass'. On returning to her car after visiting a patient, found she had been issued with a penalty ticket. She challenged the warden, saying he had watched her put the pass in place, but had never advised her that these permits, do not extended to the parking areas at council flats. He just looked at her smugly and said "so" . He went on to say "you can always appeal". It would have been so much more community spirited if he had warned her instead of watching and pouncing. Power tripping or meeting targets...I don't know, but poor public relations whatever.

    Rate   7
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  • Numb_Chumpy  |  July 25 2013, 3:52PM

    "As the old saying goes 'never ask anyone to do anything that you are not willing to do yourself'." Good call. And there I was just about to waste a load of money hiring an electrician to rewire my house. I'll cancel that dentist appointment as well while I'm on.

    Rate   4
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  • blindimp  |  July 25 2013, 3:45PM

    Good to see Lincoln has made Richard Bacon's 5 Live afternoon show for all the wrong reasons. Furthermore, a shopkeeper from the Bailgate was moaning about parking laws being enforced. The impression is, we are all mindless thugs, who when we don't get our own, the toys come out of the pram. Good for tourism!!!!

    Rate   3
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  • jeffuk01  |  July 25 2013, 3:14PM

    i see the council have been going around repairing all the gaps etc in the yellow lines but they are also extending some of them as well, as is the case on st andrews street, there used to be enough space for about 8 cars to park but after the workmen had repaired the lines they had also added about ten feet to each end so now only enough space for 6 cars, is this a way of the council saying up yours after a parking ticket was appealed and won by one of the residents, the parking warden was told at the time that the lines were not legal but still issued the ticket, this made me think that the people issuing the ticket do not know anything about the law regarding road markings so i ask one of them and i was right, he did not have a clue. if you would like to know more have a look here ... http://tinyurl.com/msmc6k2

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  • Pete67  |  July 25 2013, 2:51PM

    When they run out of people who will do the job, maybe the councillors will do it themselves. As the old saying goes 'never ask anyone to do anything that you are not willing to do yourself'.

    Rate   4
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