Driver fined after attacking council parking officer

A zero tolerance policy will be taken against physical and verbal aggression towards staff, councillors have warned.

The warnings follow a court case against a motorist who admitted assaulting a Wyre Forest civil enforcement officer and who has been fined more than a thousand pounds by magistrates.

The attack happened on Severnside South, Bewdley, in May last year after the officer had issued a penalty charge notice to the motorist.

Defendant Stuart Hudson, from Springhill Rise, Bewdley, pleaded guilty at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Hudson was issued a penalty charge notice by a civil enforcement officer after he parked his vehicle illegally on double yellow lines.

Hudson returned to his vehicle and pulled the penalty notice off his car and dropped it onto the floor.

The officer told Hudson he was committing a littering offence but he refused to pick up the notice.

Hudson then got into his car and assaulted the officer with his vehicle.

The officer’s body-worn camera recorded the incident, which was reported immediately to West Mercia Police and used as evidence in court.

Hudson pleaded guilty to charges of assault by beating, driving without due care and attention, failing to stop following an accident, driving while disqualified and driving with no insurance.

He was fined a total of £1,613 which included a compensation charge of £350 to the civil enforcement officer.

Hudson also received a community order of 150 hours’ unpaid work in the community, an eight-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months and disqualified from driving for six months.

Councillor John Thomas, Wyre Forest District Council cabinet member for operational services, said that officers were equipped with body-worn video cameras for their own personal safety and to act as a deterrent to acts of aggression or verbal and physical abuse.

He said that footage from incidents where motorists displayed threatening behaviour would be used as evidence to prosecute perpetrators.

Councillor Thomas said: "The majority of people are respectful of our enforcement officers but there are, unfortunately, some people who think the rules do not apply to them.

"There is no excuse for abuse and we operate a zero tolerance policy on physical and verbal aggression towards council staff by members of the public.

"The safety of our officers is of utmost importance and they should not be fearful of carrying out their duties."

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