New cameras for civil enforcement officersPublished Tuesday, 26th July 2016
Drivers in Rotherham are usually polite and considerate. However, sadly, a small minority of drivers react aggressively in the event that a parking ticket is issued.
To support the civil enforcement officers (formerly known as traffic wardens) in the borough, they will shortly be kitted out with body-worn CCTV cameras, in line with many other local authorities in the UK.
The body cameras can be activated by the officers if they feel that a situation may escalate or that they are in danger. The CCTV footage could then be used in any possible legal action resulting from assaults by members of the public.
Councillor Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, said: "Considerate parking activities are for the benefit of all the community. Our priority is that all our staff are safe and not subject to abuse. These devices will not be operating on a continuous basis, however, if an officer suspects that a situation could result in some form of confrontation then the customer will be advised that the device will be recording the situation.
"Most officers work alone and this device should help ensure their personal safety whilst doing their job. We hope that it will not be needed very often and that the cameras will make people think twice before verbally abusing or, even more seriously, assaulting an officer."
A recent trial of the cameras by the civil enforcement officers indicated that potential confrontational situations quickly diffused once that it was made clear that CCTV recording was in operation.