News

VIDEO: Parking inspector dealt shocking abuse

04-02-2015

Footage from a Reveal RS3-SX body worn camera of an enraged motorist abusing a parking inspector has shed some light on the kind of environment faced by council officers daily.

The incident, recorded by a parking officer wearing a Reveal body camera in Toowoomba, Australia, showed a man lose his temper become verbally and physically aggressive.

The inspector was conducting his duty and had asked the man to move his illegally parked vehicle. The man complied reluctantly whilst verbally abusing the officer, but only so far as parking a short distance away on the footpath.

The officer then warned him saying “You’ll get a ticket there too”, resulting in the man calling him a “dog”.

The parking officer proceeded to do his job and issued a ticket, placing it under the windscreen wiper of the vehicle which enraged the man apparently for touching his vehicle.

RS3-SX body camera footage then showed the man pushing the parking inspector and hurling even more abuse before walking away.

Mayor Paul Antonio said the footage vindicated the decision to add the cameras to officers' uniforms.

"Being a parking inspector is not the easiest job in town," Cr Antonio said.

"I have heard of instances of significant verbal abuse of our people and I don't particularly like that.

"Our people have got a job to do and they do it and they do it well."

Cr Antonio said it was important that illegal parkers were given notice for their infringements.

"It is about fairness and equity and it is about parking for a limited time."

He said work was being done to ease parking difficulties.

"We've got some very broad plans for parking in Toowoomba and given time, it will get a lot better."

Cr Sue Englart has said that parking inspectors dealing with irate and even violent residents deserved the extra line of defence of Reveal body cameras.

"These are normal, hard-working people who play an essential role in keeping the wheels turning over in our great region," she said.

"They are doing an important job and it doesn't serve any purpose getting angry with them or being rude to them."

Another parking inspector, Alan Sawyer, had also been issued with a Reveal high-definition body camera to record any incidents as they occur.

He found that the body camera has already come in handy a number of times - last year he was physically and verbally attacked by a disgruntled driver who resented being asked to move his illegally parked car.

"I gave him five chances to move his car, but he just wasn't interested," Mr Sawyer said.

The shirt-mounted camera took close-up video of the irate man as he hurled abuse at the parking officer and whacked him in the chest.

The footage from the RS3-SX was then used to prosecute the man in court.

"They work very well. They protect us and the public," Mr Sawyer said.

Council environmental health, animal management and parking officers have been issued with the video systems.

"Technology has become a part of everyone's daily lives," Cr Englart said.

"If our officers don't record an altercation, then it is likely that someone else has.

"By having these systems in place, we ensure we have an accurate record of what happened in case it needs to be investigated by council or referred on to police."

Cr Englart said council officers who had direct contact with the community in carrying out their duties had, in the vast majority of cases, positive experiences with the public.