Islington Traffic wardens assaulted with weapons

The number of attacks on Islington traffic wardens has risen by more than 60 per cent over the last year, the Gazette can reveal.

In 2011, a total of 26 enforcement officers were assaulted in the line of duty including six incidents when they were attacked with weapons.

The figures, which come from a Freedom of Information request, show in 2010 the number was just 16, and only seven the year before.

Wardens have been spat on, pushed, punched , slapped and had cameras and notebooks taken while doing their job.

One angry driver even threatened to kill the officer who was writing him a ticket and at least two have been racially abused.

Vaughn West, Islington Branch Secretary of the GMB union who represent many traffic wardens, said: “We are extremely concerned about this rise – our members are just doing their job.

“We can understand the frustration of the public in having to pay parking fined but that does not give them carte blanch to verbally or physically assault our members.

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“They used to work in pairs, but now they’re alone a lot of the time.”

“I remember a few years ago a traffic warden was attacked so badly in Caledonian Road he went blind - then got fired from his job because of it.”

A spokesman for NSL, the company which employs traffic wardens in Islington, said: “Safety is a major priority for NSL and we will do everything in our power to protect staff. Our Professional Standards Unit is dedicated to tackling this issue and we’ve introduced a series of measures to reduce attacks.

“This cannot and should not be tolerated.”

He said all officers were equipped with evidence gathering kits and the company would prosecute when possible.