One parking warden is attacked or abused every week in Brighton and Hove

Posted On 15 Apr 2016 at 7:52 pm

The day after a Patcham man was sentenced for a threatening rant after his car was ticketed, parking contractor NSL said that more than 60 staff were attacked or abused last year.

The company said staff are given training to defuse situations and minimise conflict but 33 workers were physically attacked in Brighton and Hove last year and 31 were verbally abused.

NSL, the parking enforcement contractor for Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “We all have good days and bad days at work but sometimes for our teams on the frontline the bad days can include verbal and even physical abuse.

“Nobody should be treated badly for doing their job.”

The Spearhead

A spokesman for NSL said that he would not want to overstate the problem but added that the company supported Sussex Police to investigate attacks and bring cases to court.

Yesterday (Thursday 14 April) Matthew Reah, 48, a property maintenance worker, of Braybon Avenue, Patcham, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated threatening behaviour at Brighton Magistrates’ Court. The father of three yelled abuse at a woman after she ticketed his car one morning in February.

Brighton Magistrates' Court

Brighton Magistrates’ Court

The outburst was out of character, his lawyer Hollie Collinge told the court, as the justices considered whether to jail him, fine him or impose another sentence. After hearing that Reah did not have a history of violence, the bench gave him a 12-month community order and told him to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.

The presiding magistrate Michael Sandeman said: “It was a very nasty and unpleasant thing to be shouting at a traffic warden who was just trying to do her job.”

NSL said: “Last year our colleagues in Brighton and Hove highlighted 33 physical abuse and 31 verbal abuse incidents.

“We have always put our people at the heart of our business and work very hard to analyse data, (and) support, train and equip our colleagues with the skills and qualifications they need to minimise these incidents.

“Following any incident of verbal or physical abuse towards one of our colleagues, we assist police with their inquiries and support the member of staff concerned during a difficult time.

“We firmly believe it is wrong to abuse people who are delivering an important service of keeping traffic flowing, roads safe and to ensure everyone has fair access to the shops and facilities in the area.

“Nobody should be treated badly for doing their job.”

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