to help catch violent or abusive motorists.
20 July 2012 Evening Standard
Wardens - or civil enforcement officers - in Hammersmith & Fulham are to become the first in the capital to be fitted with the ‘body cams’ after a sharp rise in the number of assaults on wardens in recent years.
The cameras will sit in a harness on the warden’s high-vis jackets and also feature high quality audio equipment to record conversations.
Officials say the cameras will act as a deterrent and will only be switched on when a warden feels under threat.
The council says it is also looking at issuing wardens with stab proof vests and GPS tracking systems so they get help to them in trouble more quickly.
They say the 65 cameras will also give police vital video evidence to help convict criminals who threaten or assault wardens.
Hammersmith & Fulham says the number of verbal and physical attacks on parking wardens has more than doubled since 2008, with officers reporting three or four dangerous incidents every month.
In 2010-11, 69 serious incidents were reported, more than one attack a week.
In one of the worst attacks last year a driver one driver tried to prevent his car being towed by jumping into his car and trying to drive it off the back of the tow truck before making death threats against the officer.
On the same day in July two wardens who had issued a parking ticket were followed to a nearby street and attacked by a gang of at least six people who emerged from three cars.
One was punched and kicked to the ground and left with a broken nose. The officer needed surgery and was off work for several weeks.
Cllr Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler, the council lead on transport, said: “No one should feel unsafe when they are doing their job and some of the assaults on our officers have been truly horrific and completely unwarranted.
“We want to make sure our staff are safe especially as they do a valuable job in keeping our roads clear and keeping the borough moving.
“This council takes a zero-tolerance approach to the small minority of motorists who abuse our staff with violent, vile or threatening behaviour. Anyone thinking about taking their frustration and anger out on our workers needs to think twice, or they could end up in court without a leg to stand on.”
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