Attacks on parking wardens are up 4-fold in just 12 months
ATTACKS on parking wardens by angry motorists in London’s East End have quadrupled in just 12 months, Town Hall figures reveal. There were 12 physical assaults in Tower Hamlets alone from January to April, the same as the whole of 2007 and double the whole of 2006. Now the Town Hall council is warning it will prosecute anyone who attacks its staff.
ATTACKS on parking wardens by angry motorists in London's East End have quadrupled in just 12 months, Town Hall figures reveal.
There were 12 physical assaults in Tower Hamlets alone from January to April, the same as the whole of 2007 and double the whole of 2006.
Now the Town Hall is warning it will prosecute anyone who attacks its staff.
A warden has been attacked every week so far this year while enforcing parking contraventions. These include physical and verbal abuse "on a regular basis," according to a council official.
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In the worst incident, a woman warden was attacked in March by two men who kicked and punched her.
She had just slapped a fixed penalty notice on a vehicle when the men confronted her.
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One suddenly charged at her, then both weighed in with kicks and punches.
Her leg was badly bruised and she was left shaken and stressed by the incident.
But Tower Hamlets council has been hitting back. The men were prosecuted for assault and slapped with community service orders, fined and ordered to pay costs.
"Unfortunately, horrific stories like these are not that rare," said Tower Hamlets council cabinet member Abdal Ullah.
"But it is totally unacceptable to treat anyone in this way.
"We will always seek convictions against those who assault or intimidate our staff."
He added: "We inform motorists of their right to challenge parking tickets they feel are not fair and advise them to challenge the penalty charge through our appeals process - not the parking attendant on the street."
In another incident, a warden in Spitalfields received cuts when a brick was hurled through the window of his patrol van.
He was confronted by a driver in Brick Lane who was said to have spat on him and become verbally abusive.
He and a colleague who came to his aid believed the situation had been calmed and returned to their van parked in Hanbury Street, round the corner, when a brick was suddenly thrown through the passenger window by someone involved in the initial incident.