Thursday, 19 June 2014

Camera proposal for parking wardens

PARKING wardens could wear cameras to record video and sound of any “incidents” under new proposals.

                      Jacket-cam_432_tcm21-174297

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Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council is to consier the cameras as new figures show a steep rise in the number of parking tickets issued.

They would cost a total £17,000 and have been used in areas like Hammersmith and Fulham (see picture).

A council report said: “One item that the team would like to reconsider is the use of ‘bodycams’, which are small CCTV units worn by the [wardens] that record picture and sound whilst carrying out their enforcement duties.

“These are now becoming more common in the enforcement industry, which provide members of the public and officers with reassurance that any incident can recorded and reviewed at a later date.

“There is strong evidence available to demonstrate this actually reduces complaints against [wardens] and footage can be used when evaluating an appeal.”

The warden service was outsourced to NSL in October 2011 but struggled to meet expectations in the first full year, 2012/13.

In that year 13,076 penalty charge notices (PCNs) were given out compared to 15,993 in 2009/10 and 15,645 and 14,612 in subsequent years.

But the latest figure, for 2013/14, was 17,955 tickets issued, giving a surplus of £16,563 after £425,152 in costs were paid for.

The report said: “During the first 12 months of the contract the service went through a difficult period of change.”

It said the service has “started to deliver its operational and financial objectives”.

It said: “This improvement continued throughout last year and has helped to improve confidence in the service’s ability to perform good quality enforcement, with a customer focused outlook, which now looks capable of sustaining this position.

“There is no reason at this time, therefore, to consider any other option but to continue delivering the service to the same business case.”





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