Commuter Complaints

Line of parked cars
This week, I thought I’d blog about one of the NEPP’s most common complaints – commuter parking.

We often receive complaints about how and where commuters park their vehicles whilst they’re at work all day as they’re sometimes restricting property access, causing congestion and in some cases a danger too. If the vehicles are parked dangerously, causing an obstruction or on pavements, then this would be a Police issue. If the vehicle is parked on a dropped kerb or in contravention of a parking restriction, the NEPP can carry out enforcement action. However if there aren’t any parking restrictions and there aren’t any other parking contraventions taking place, we’re unable to take any action.

If residents of businesses in north Essex believe that having a parking or waiting restriction in place may address this (or any other local parking problem) requests for these should be made to the NEPP. Anyone wanting parking or waiting restrictions needs to complete Stage 1 of the NewTRO Requests Form and demonstrate there is local support, including from the local Ward Councillor. Once completed, the request should be emailed to techteam@colchester.gov.uk for it to be reviewed and scored based on key factors including the level of local support, potential benefits and impacts. The request and the scoring will then be referred to the Partnership’s Committee to prioritise and decide whether it will be progressed. The NEPP does receive a lot of requests and with limited budget available it needs to focus on progressing the schemes considered to be a high priority. For all the necessary steps to be completed, the entire process can take up to 24 months.

For more information please visit our website at www.parkingpartnership.org

Police Accreditation

Police Community Safety Scheme Accreditation Logo
This week I thought I’d take a break from writing about specific parking matters and tell you a bit more about my role as a Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) with the NEPP.

Last autumn, the NEPP offered its enforcement staff the opportunity to become Police Accredited under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS). This is a voluntary scheme under which Police Chief Constables can choose to accredit people employed in roles which involve maintaining and improving community safety e.g. park and neighbourhood wardens. Once they’re accredited these staff have additional but specific powers to help them in their community roles (so in my case, powers which specifically relate to my role in parking).

Some of my colleagues and I took this offer up and have now been through the vetting process, done the training and passed the assessments. Once we’ve been presented with our Essex Police Accreditation identification badges and armbands we’ll be able to use the additional powers we’ve been given to increase community safety and help reduce crime and disorder.

As a parking CEO, examples of the types of powers and circumstances under which I can use them include:

  • being able to control traffic for purposes other than escorting a load of exceptional dimensions and to direct traffic for the purposes of escorting abnormal loads
  • being given a name and address following violent and aggressive behaviour from customers
  • issuing a fixed penalty notice for littering when a Penalty Charge Notice has been thrown on the floor by a customer

I’ve really enjoyed the training and work involved in becoming Police Accredited and like knowing that  once I’ve been issued with my national accreditation badge I’ll be able to make even more of a difference in helping to keep our roads safe and free from congestion – after all that’s what being a CEO is all about.

Hot Dog? No thank you!

Labrador dog

It was great being out patrolling in the lovely warm weather last week, however sometimes we can come across incidents such as dogs left in parked cars during these extreme temperatures. When we come across this issue, we would take the necessary details and report it to either the RSPCA or the Police (depending on how urgent we believe the situation to be) for them to investigate and take action if necessary.

If you come across a dog which appears to have been left in a vehicle during hot weather, please report this to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 and give them details about the condition of the dog, the registration number and where the car is. The RSPCA should then send an inspector or warden to deal with the situation if they can and if they think they need to break into the car, they will call the Police. Some dog warden services may also be able to help in these circumstances. However, if the situation is extremely urgent and it’s getting close to a life or death situation for the dog, you should call the Police using 999 straight away.

Both the RSPCA and the Police, have information and guidance on what to do when anyone comes across an animal which appears to have been left in a car during hot weather and these can be accessed using the links below:

http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/health/dogsinhotcars

http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contactus/faqs/results.aspx?question=21

With more hot weather forecast for the rest of this week, please bear this in mind and if you are a dog owner, please don’t leave your dog alone in a car in warm temperatures.