Merton’s Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs, formerly known as parking attendants) are joining forces with the Metropolitan Police as they carry out their Blue Badge enforcement patrols.
This new initiative follows an attack on two CEOs last month by a motorist who appeared to be a fraudulent user of a Blue Badge. The motorist was subsequently arrested by police and given a suspended sentence.
Last year there were five reported cases of Merton’s CEOs suffering physical abuse and over 500 incidents of verbal abuse. CEOs are vital to tackling congestion, a significant concern for residents.
Cabinet member for performance and implementation, Councillor Mark Betteridge said: ‘Tackling the abuse of Blue Badges is just one of the valuable jobs done by Merton’s CEOs and they should be able to go about their work without the fear of being attacked. Our CEOs do an important job and we will not tolerate any violence towards them.’
Merton Police Commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Williams said: “The council has our full support on this issue. It is important that members of the public respect officers trying to do their job. We will seek to prosecute anyone who inflicts physical or verbal abuse on the CEOs.”
Notes to editors
Blue Badges provide parking concessions for drivers and passengers with disabilities.