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Drivers warned over attacks on traffic wardens
Motorists are being warned that abusing or assaulting Bradford Council parking wardens when they receive tickets is likely to land them in Court.
Verbal or physical attacks on the wardens are running at an average of more than one a week since they went on patrol in March last year.
Police have had to be called in on 26 occasions when drivers’ tempers have frayed.
There have been about 80 incidents of violence against wardens, according to Council figures over the last 13 months.
Sixteen of those involved physical assault and 19 racial abuse. A total of 73 of the incidents also involved verbal abuse.
Two men have so far been taken to court and convicted for assaulting wardens.
Mark White, enforcement manager for Bradford Council Parking Services, said: “Our staff should be able to go to work like any other employee in any other business without fear of assault.
“Abusing an officer because they have issued a ticket is not just shameful and pointless – it can land you in court. The Council is able to prosecute in its own right and we will make full use of that capability.
“Officers will shortly be testing body-worn cameras which we hope will deter would-be abusers. People who think they can get away with this sort of behaviour should think again.”
Last week the Telegraph & Argus reported how customer care advisor Javed Shah became so angry with a civil enforcement officer taking a photograph of his illegally-parked vehicle that he slapped the camera out of her hand.
Bradford magistrates handed down a three-month community order and agreed that he should be tagged on curfew for six weeks.
The 46-year-old, of Montague Street, Bradford, was also ordered to pay £300 towards costs and £75 victim compensation. Warden Jane Summerscales described how Shah had moved towards her, swinging his arms about and swearing at her and trying to knock the camera out of her hand.
The case followed a similar incident in August when irate motorist Irfan Zaib drove into a traffic officer to avoid a parking ticket. Zaib’s car stalled on Southgate, Bradford, and lunged forward into John Hellens.
Zaib, 27, of Lower Rushton Road, Thornbury, was fined £400 and ordered to pay compensation of £100 at Bradford Crown Court last week. The court heard how the Volkswagen Polo mounted the kerb and struck Mr Hellens, before being reversed and driven off.
Mr White said wardens did not have the authority to take back a ticket once it had been issued. He urged people who wanted to dispute parking tickets to go through the proper channels.
He said: “There is a team of appeals staff available to discuss the ticket over the telephone. If you have received a ticket you should follow the instructions on the back.”