Parking officers in Bridlington will be wearing body cameras from this week, to increase safety and prevent abusive incidents.
The scheme is costing £16,000 which will be paid for through car parking fees and parking fines and cameras will be given to all 24 civil enforcement officers and three civil enforcement supervisors working across the East Riding.
The body cameras will only be activated for recording by the officer when situations become confrontational.
The footage will also be used to ensure council officers are conducting themselves and carrying out duties in an appropriate manner.
The council shows evidence shows the use of body cameras during heated exchanges can calm situations down.
Since the start of 2017, the council’s civil enforcement officers have reported more than 120 incidents of aggressive behaviour towards them. The most serious incidents included:
○ One officer suffering injuries after being shot by a ball bearing gun.
○ Another suffering damage to their arm after being pushed into a fence.
○ One officer being filmed as they were assaulted.
○ Numerous examples of officers being threatened, having cars driven at them and being followed.
Cllr John Barrett, the council’s portfolio holder for operational services, said: “We understand that people can sometimes get angry or frustrated at receiving a penalty charge notice, but that is no excuse for using abusive or violent behaviour towards our officers, who are just doing their job.
“We are equipping the officers with these new body cameras to make our staff feel safer as they go about their duties, as they often work alone.”
Paul Tripp, head of streetscene services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, added: “Many authorities across the country are now using body cameras and they have proved extremely effective.”