IT is a sad and sorry sign of the times when traffic wardens in Wakefield are to be given body cameras for their own safety following a rise in verbal and physical assaults described as “alarming” by police and civic leaders in the city.
These are public servants who are simply doing their job – and making sure that parking restrictions, which do exist for very good reasons, are not flouted by a small minority of thoughtless motorists who choose to put their own personal convenience before all other considerations.
Without traffic wardens in Wakefield – and other cities and towns for that matter – parking will simply become a free-for-all and it will be the most vulnerable, like the elderly or disabled, who suffer most of all. This must not be allowed to happen.
Yet, while the Protect The Protectors legislation pioneered by Halifax MP Holly Lynch means those criminals who assault members of the emergency services can expect tougher punishments, there is a case for this principle being extended to all public workers – individuals like traffic wardens should not be going to work and fearing for their safety like this.
Hopefully these body cameras will act as a deterrent. If not, the onus must be on the criminal justice system to use evidence obtained from these devices to make an example of those who choose to take out their frustrations on others. It is called respect.