Council runs out of options to enforce illegal parking - but volunteers may help
- Credit: Archant
East Cambs Council is to abandon some of its plans to tackle illegal parking – but will spend £250 a head training and providing uniforms for new road safety volunteers.
A Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) that would have allowed Chief Constable Nick Dean to “bestow some police powers” to accredited individuals - including council workers – is to be shelved.
Legal advice taken by the council said if any of their workers (about 10 had expressed an interest) got involved it could be a conflict of interest.
Under the CSAS the council could have tackled issues such as begging, anti-social behaviour, cycling on footpaths, dog fouling and removing abandoned vehicles.
A report to the operational services committee on September 13 says the chief constable has vetoed the council paying for a designated PCSO to enforce street parking enforcement.
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Operations director Jo Brooks says the recent reduction in PCSO numbers made this impossible.
The council has turned its attention to Section 38 of the Police and Crime Act 2017.
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This allows police to bestow powers to Police Service Volunteers’ (PSV) which include issuing Fixed Penalty Notices.
Ms Brooks says the aim is to develop and implement a district wide pilot scheme to create a new PSV role of Road Safety Volunteers.
She says this would integrate “current community-based activities such as Speed Watch into a formal arrangement supported by training to include enforcement of on street car parking as well as speeding.
“In practical terms, this would give the new road safety volunteers new powers for speeding, rather than just the letter through the post as per the Speed Watch system”
It is likely to cost £250 to train each volunteer and provide them with a uniform.
Ms Brooks says Cambs Police will submit a bid to the Road Safety Partnership to fund the Home Office approved, legally enforceable machines “to capture illegal activity”.
She says the pilot would also allow the volunteers to deal with anti-social/dangerous or illegal parking “where other avenues such as driver education messaging has failed”.
A year ago, council leader Anna Bailey ruled out civil parking enforcement.
“We must consider a better alternative,” she said.
She offered two options – better funding of police or introducing CSAS.