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Body-cams to protect Peterborough’s traffic wardens

Peterborough parking attendants are now carrying CCTV cameras to help convict anyone who may abuse them. Photo: Rowland Hobson

Peterborough parking attendants are now carrying CCTV cameras to help convict anyone who may abuse them. Photo: Rowland Hobson

 

Traffic wardens in Peterborough have been equipped with mini-CCTV cameras to ward off irate motorists.

The 10 wardens, known as civil enforcement officers, will use the cameras to film anyone who verbally abuses them or hits out.

A Peterborough City Council spokeswoman said: “The film will be handed over to the police and will be used in court to secure a prosecution of anyone who abuses our staff carrying out their duties.

The council says that on average there are three or four verbal or physical attacks on parking enforcement officers every month.

In two cases last month, an officer was even pelted with eggs as he tried to enforce a parking restriction.

The 10 cameras have cost the local authority £6,400 and they went into operation on Monday.

A council spokeswoman said: “The civil enforcement officers can turn on the camera at the flick of a switch in case a member of the public uses intimidating or threatening behaviour.

“It then records what is going on in front of the officer in high-quality video and audio. The video can be passed on to police for investigation and possible prosecution.

“The cameras will be clearly visible and labelled as CCTV.”

Darren Bell, of the council’s parking services, said: “Peterborough residents are generally very courteous towards our civil enforcement officers however there’s always a small group of people who are not.

“We have had incidents of personal and physical abuse and that will not be tolerated. These cameras are being introduced for the personal safety of officers and not for enforcement.”

The cameras are securely clipped to the officer’s chest. If the officer is concerned for their safety they can flick a switch and activate the camera and it automatically starts recording.

The video and audio is recorded on the device and can be downloaded back at the office. It is stored securely and can be passed on to police if necessary.

A police spokesman said: “It is unacceptable for people to suffer physical or verbal abuse.

“We welcome any tool that helps provide evidence to prosecute those who behave in such a manner.”

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