SCHOOL crossing guards are set to use body worn cameras in a new trial aiming to prevent abuse from parent and drivers.

Essex County Council is testing out the new cameras for a month from today in Whitmore Way, Basildon, close to Whitmore Primary School and Nursery..

The trials of the body worn cameras will last for four weeks and will then be evaluated.

Council bosses have launched the trial in response to crossing staff being bombarded with abuse from both drivers and parents.

Tony Ball, Essex County Council councillor for education excellence, life long learning and employability, hit out at parents who abuse the staff.

The former leader of Basildon Council said: “Unfortunately, there is that very small minorityf drivers who are impatient and sometimes even abusive toward the crossing patrols.

“This is utterly unacceptable behaviour. Our school crossing patrol officers are wonderful people, loved by the communities they serve, and who work in rain, wind and snow to keep the children of Essex safe.

“The safety and wellbeing of our School Crossing Patrol Officers, and the safety of children and families they help to cross the road, is of utmost concern to Essex County Council.

That is why we are holding trials of body worn cameras on School Crossing Patrol Officers in these locations.”

Grandmother Pat Rackley welcomed the move and praised staff for doing a “great job” in the face of abuse.

The 71-year-old said: “I think it’s a good idea and one big issue around schools is traffic and parking.

“Anything that helps to slow down the traffic around our schools is a good thing as is anything that keeps our children safe too.

“Parents should be aware of why this is needed as well as why the patrol staff are necessary outside our schools too.

“It will also keep the staff safe which is another good thing. I’ve known a worker like this and he was a lovely man and can’t believe there would be issues like this.”

Adam Pipe, of roads policing at Essex Police, said: “Everyone uses our roads, whether they are driving, cycling or as a pedestrian crossing the road.

“To ensure everyone is safe, we would ask drivers to be mindful of their surroundings, reduce their speed near crossings or schools and be courteous towards other road users.”