Neath Port Talbot traffic wardens to be equipped with body cameras
TRAFFIC wardens in Neath Port Talbot have been injured by aggrieved motorists driving off.
Others have been confronted and threatened by members of the public, council bosses have revealed.
Now the civil enforcement officers are set to be equipped with body cameras when they are pounding the pavements to act as a deterrent and monitor these incidents — and others involving complaints by the public against officers.
Head of engineering and transport David Griffiths said there had been confrontations between civil enforcement officers (CEOs) and the public over fixed penalty notices.
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"Over the past 12 months we have had to investigate numerous complaints against CEOs and, similarly, officers have reported instances of threatening behaviour by members of the public," said Mr Griffiths.
"Some officers have also been injured through drive- aways.
"It's therefore intended that the council's civil enforcement parking service be provided with body-worn video cameras to monitor such instances."
Mr Griffiths explained officers would have to inform people they were being filmed. The cameras would provide an independent record of events as they happened and, it was hoped, act as a deterrent.
"Footage gathered by the cameras will provide irrefutable evidence of criminal or unacceptable civil activity and help convict those who offend, or deter those who may act in a physically or verbally abusive manner," he said.
"If police wish to use footage in evidence for a prosecution, the film would be made available to them."
Swansea Council took similar steps with its enforcement officers last year.
Members of Neath Port Talbot Council's environment and highways cabinet board were today being asked to approve the introduction of the new cameras.
The total cost is said to be £6,170.
Mr Griffiths said: "We would always encourage members of the public to treat our enforcement officers with respect."