31/10/2011 - Permalink

Shropshire enforcement officers in national spotlight

Related topics: Community

A Shropshire Council team which was commended at the British Parking Awards is in the national spotlight again.

The Shropshire parking enforcement team, also known as civil enforcement officers (CEOs), has been called on to share its expertise on how it works to deal with illegal and dangerous parking while also tackling a range of other issues including litter, graffiti, crime and disorder.

Dave Roberts, environmental enforcement manager, and Councillor Tony Durnell, Shropshire councillor for Monkmoor and Mayor of Shrewsbury who is a champion for the team, talked to councils and organisations from across the country at the British Parking Association Annual Conference 2011 about the roles of CEOs in Shropshire. 

The invitation comes after the team was nominated as the Parking Team of the Year at the British Parking Awards in March 2011, and was commended for having a much broader role than parking enforcement alone.

Councillor Mike Owen, Shropshire Council Cabinet member, said:

“Again the team has been recognised for taking the initiative to provide services beyond parking enforcement – acting as champions for their local area, to promote the well-being of the community as a whole.

“The independent experts who selected the nominees for the British Parking Awards took into account how the team offers a highly visible, reassuring presence and tackles problems that matter to people – and this is being noticed on a wider scale.”

Dave Roberts added:

“If we can help other councils and organisations to work in a way that provides more benefits for residents and customers, we are delighted to have the opportunity to share with them how we have achieved this.”

The roles of the team include:

  • Enforcing parking regulations, to encourage sensible and safe parking by making the roads safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians – and help prevent obstructions to emergency vehicles and public transport.
  • Offering advice and assistance to visitors and residents on parking and other council services.
  • Taking part in initiatives including schemes to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • Taking action on littering and dog fouling.
  • Dealing with basic first aid incidents.
  • Getting involved in residential meetings and other community meetings.
  • Working with vulnerable groups, including the homeless.
  • Working as part of the Shop Watch scheme with other agencies to prevent and report crimes, for example through providing patrols in problem areas, and assisting victims of crime.
  • Reporting environmental issues from dangerous buildings, pest control and noise pollution to abandoned vehicles, fly tipping and highways needing repair.
  • Supporting community events.
  • Helping other council teams clear snow in bad weather.

Examples of how these roles have been carried out include helping someone who had collapsed on a hot day and an older person who had fallen down concrete stairs.

Another CEO was instrumental in alerting the relevant agencies and taking action when a person fell into the river, and others have worked in partnership with a school to find solutions and provide information to parents and carers when irresponsible parking put the safety of children at risk.

The costs of involvement in the British Parking Association Annual Conference in London on 29 September 2011 was met entirely by the organisers.