New officer to patrol the streets
Hampton has hired a community officer with powers to hand out fines to tackle illegal parking, fly-tipping and other anti-social behaviour.
Katrina Starbuck began patrolling Hampton Vale and Hargate on Tuesday after Hampton Parish Council paid Peterborough City Council £25,000 for her services.
The parish council believes it is the first in the city to hire an enforcement officer, and others are said to be considering whether to follow in Hampton’s footsteps.
Parish clerk Jodie Aston said: “We are thinking tickets might be high at the beginning, but when people realise we are enforcing the rules they will be more mindful.
“They will know we are on top of it, and dealing with it.
“I believe we are the first parish council to do this. We’ve already had other parish councils saying ‘how have you done this?’
“We’ve had really positive feedback - people saying ‘we can’t wait for her to get started’.”
Jodie highlighted parking and fly-tipping as two ongoing problems which prompted the decision to hire Katrina.
Should her first year in the role go well, the parish council will look to extend the arrangement with the city council.
Katrina, who will wear a blue uniform, has been working for the council’s Prevention and Enforcement Service which has mainly been focused on tackling anti-social behaviour in the city centre and Millfield, but she said she could not pass up the “fantastic opportunity” to come to Hampton.
“It’s about changing attitudes and people’s views - engaging and offering support,” she said. “So far I’ve been engaging with residents and finding out what issues there are in Hampton. I’m hoping we can get them resolved in a matter of time.
“The main issues raised so far are anti-social behaviour and parking.”
Katrina’s first morning included a trip to Hampton Hargate Primary School, and preventing illegal parking outside schools will be part of her new role.
But she made clear that handing out fines of up to £80 is not what she wants to do.
“Enforcement is the last option. I do not want to come into a new area and start enforcing. I want to get to know everybody and want to implement a lot of changes.”