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Abuse on staff will not be tolerated

Published: 23/11/2022
Graphic representing a range of council staff

Two individuals who assaulted Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) from Ashford Borough Council have been prosecuted.

In both cases CEOs approached vehicles and were subsequently abused, one verbally and another physically.

While we know that parking enforcement is never popular, it is necessary to prevent dangerous parking, to ensure there isn’t abuse of permits and keep disabled bays free for those who need them, amongst other reasons. It is only through parking enforcement that we are able to ensure parking spaces are there for drivers when they visit our towns. 

Cllr Paul Bartlett, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Safety and Wellbeing said: “The Council takes any abuse of its staff very seriously. No one should have to face threatening or violent behaviour when they carry out their work and we will prosecute anyone who violates this. I am pleased that both of these cases were successful but we shouldn’t need to remind people to treat others with consideration.

“We understand that sometimes things can be frustrating, particularly as many are facing difficult times. Your Council is here to assist but everyone, staff and residents included, should be treated with respect.”

Case 1: Threatening behaviour

A CEO patrolling Ashford town centre came across a vehicle parked in the centre of the road covered by double yellow lines. The officer asked the driver to move on as they were parked dangerously, at which point the driver became extremely threatening, shouting and swearing at the officer, before driving away dangerously.

After appearing at Margate Magistrates Court in October 2022 he was sentenced to the following:

  • 80 hours of unpaid work
  • Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (10 sessions)
  • Compensation of £100 to be paid
  • Court costs of £520
  • Victim surcharge cost of £95

Case 2: Assault 

A CEO patrolling Vicarage Lane car park approached a vehicle with no pay and display ticket when two men returned to it. One became aggressive, pushing the officer and swearing at them. The offender grabbed a phone out of the officer’s hand and threw it. With the assistance of Ashford Monitoring Centre (CCTV) the main offender was located and arrested. He went on to further assault police officers for which he was also charged.

After appearing at Margate Magistrates Court in June 2022 in relation to the assault on the CEO he was sentenced to the following:

  • Community Order of 6 months
  • 50 hours unpaid work
  • Court costs of £180