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Southend parking boss says we will not put up with attacks on traffic wardens
THE BOSS of Southend’s parking enforcement officers has warned that abuse of his staff by disgruntled motorists or other members of the public won’t be tolerated.
Neil Hunwicks, contract manager at Apcoa parking, which carries out parking enforcement for Southend Council, gave the warning after two recent prosecutions following incidents with his traffic wardens.
He also said there are at least twomore cases waiting to come to court in relation to abuse of officers.
Mark Walsh, 48, of Hamlet Court Mews, Westcliff, was convicted of assaulting officer Siobhan Smith at Southend Magistrates’ Court after an incident in Westcliff in July.
He had pleaded not guilty to assaulting the member of staff, but was found guilty on October 10 and ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work, ordered to pay £500 costs, £100 compensation and a £60 victim surcharge.
In another recent case, Jamie Polkinghorn, 23, of Stornoway Road, Southend, pleaded guilty to using racially aggravated words to cause harassment, alarm or distress of an officer.
He was given a 12-month conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £100 costs and £50 compensation at Southend Magistrates’ Court on October 2.
Mr Hunwicks said: “We are very happy with these verdicts from the magistrates as both these cases show this behaviour towards uniformed officers going about their duty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“We would always encourage members of the public to use the appeals’ process or, if they genuinely feel that they have been given poor service by an officer, they can contact Southend Council, as we are always working to improve the service that we provide.”
He added: “If people choose to take matters in to their own hands, they will find themselves potentially leaving court with a fine and a criminal record.
“Apcoa will always press for a prosecution and support our staff to help achieve the right outcome.”
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