Parking officers copping abuse

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STEVE.ADDISON
@thenews.co.nz

Parking officers contracted to the Central Otago District Council (CODC) have faced abuse in their first few weeks of operation.

CODC roading manager Murray Hasler said one officer had been spat on in the face by an angry person during the “friendly phase” of ticketing when warnings were being issued. Another officer was followed into a public toilet by a person who had received a ticket.

Parking officers would now wear body cameras, he said.

“They have copped a lot of abuse.”

Body cameras were also being worn by parking officers in Dunedin.

A nasty response from some people seemed to be part of the job, Mr Hasler said.

Tickets had been issued to people who were well in breach of enforcement rules, often having parked in a spot for four to six hours.

“We are not ticketing people who have just popped in somewhere.”

There was an issue with business employees parking in the shopping areas of both Alexandra and Cromwell for the entire day, he said.

By the end of last week more than 40 infringement notices had been issued between Cromwell and Alexandra. About 50 friendly warnings were issued in the lead up to the enforcement period which began this month.

“The parking situation has improved (in response to enforcement) and people are now able to park outside a business to go shopping.”

This would improve things for shoppers, particularity the elderly, he said.

Infringement fines are $40 and that had been enough to ensure there had been no repeat offenders, Mr Hasler said.