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Newquay parking officials wearing cameras to catch abusive motorists

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

  • RECORDING EQUIPMENT: Wendy Hill and Emma Sibley wear the new head and body cameras.

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TRAFFIC officials in Newquay are being given cameras in a bid to catch abusive motorists in the act, the Cornish Guardian can reveal.

In the first move of its kind in Cornwall, the resort's four civil enforcement officers (CEOs) will now wear the head or body cameras during every shift.

Recorded footage will provide video evidence to support police investigations should a CEO be subjected to an assault or abuse.

It is hoped the scheme, a joint venture between Cornwall Council and police, will reduce assaults and abuse against the town's parking patrol officers.

It is being piloted in Newquay and could pave the way for more initiatives to be developed elsewhere in the county.

Jerry Mitchell, a police community safety sergeant based at Bodmin, said the recorded footage would be used as evidence, enabling the police to deal with crimes effectively.

"It came about because the council were concerned about attacks on parking officials," he said.

"I met with them and it was a suggestion I put forward.

"They suffer abuse and aggression from people and as they're usually on their own there's no one to back it up. This will provide more evidence.

"The council spends ages dealing with complaints. When cameras are used we find the number of complaints drops.

"There's a problem in several major towns, but because of the proximity of Newquay it's a good place to trial."

All four CEOs in Newquay have been given a head camera as part of a three-month trial. The equipment was provided by Cornwall Council's antisocial behaviour (ASB) team.

Mike Lawton, of Cornwall Council's health and safety team, said the idea exemplified a "great multi-agency approach to a problem.

"All CEOs in Cornwall also have a panic button behind their badge which records conversations," he said.

"Some of the language used against them is absolutely disgraceful.

"There have been 36 recorded instances since last April but I am sure that's under- reporting. One of the CEOs given a head camera said to me that the change had been amazing."

He said statistics would be gathered around March.

Newquay's sector police inspector Dave Meredith said it was a great initiative which would provide further protection to Newquay's CEOs and was fully supported by police. As well as collecting evidence, the cameras would provide a visible deterrent.

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  • josdave  |  February 06 2013, 11:14PM

    They are simply doing theiur jobs and if motorists for once were to park legally and safely they would be redundant. It's because of the proliferation of inconsiderate lazy motorists that traffic wardens, or whatever title they have now, exist.

  • humpy1968  |  February 06 2013, 12:30PM

    "They suffer abuse and aggression from people".........is it any surprise? The public see them for what they are - money-making, target led vultures. CEO's do not have the social skills required to interact with disgruntled members of the public. There is one male CEO in Newquay who is a prime example of this who is rude and aggressive himself and then will call the Police for assistance when it gets too much!!.....a lack of training here I think and something the Council need to address as soon as possible.

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  • Newquay_Loyal  |  February 06 2013, 11:30AM

    You can obstruct Mount Wise as it is a single yellow line, yet a quiet side street just off it has double yellow lines. These people will go out and seek cars on side streets at 8am on a Sunday to make money for Cornwall Council... of course you will bleddy swear at them, especially at that time of the morning. Parking Regs state, that yellow lines are put in place to ensure traffic flow and saftey, yet Mount Wise is a main road and is constantly obstructed. Cornwall Council ignore the Regs in order to make money, yet their policy is failing, they lose cash every year by employing 'Parking Wombles'. I am fully supportive of the Council employing as many people as possible, but at least target the right areas.

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  • accom  |  February 06 2013, 10:32AM

    Pure scum. Filth.

    |   2