Fall in attacks on parking workers

Figures show the number of parking attendants in London who have been physically and verbally attacked has fallen by 75% since 2007.

According to Westminster Council, the number of reported assaults, threats of violence and incidents of verbal abuse on its 200 parking attendants dropped to an average of five per month at the end of 2008, compared with 21 per month in 2007.

The reduction has been attributed to conflict resolution classes which attendants are taking part in. These include guidance from the Met Police and teach new recruits how to calm down angry motorists.

In 2007 252 incidents of assaults on parking staff were reported, but this fell to 127 recorded incidents in 2008.

Of the 127 instances of abuse last year, more than half were physical in nature and included parking attendants being head-butted and spat at.

Danny Chalkley, Westminster's cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "Officers carrying out their duties should not have to live in fear of abuse from motorists or passers-by and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that they have the confidence and skills to handle even the most difficult situations."

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