Traffic wardens go on bomb alert

PUBLISHED: 11:52 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 May 2010

PARKING attendants have come under fire for snooping and taking too much interest in the contents of people s cars. A St Albans motorist, who does not wish to be named, lodged a complaint with NCP which runs the council s parking services, after watching

PARKING attendants have come under fire for snooping and taking too much interest in the contents of people's cars.

A St Albans motorist, who does not wish to be named, lodged a complaint with NCP which runs the council's parking services, after watching a parking attendant (PA) showing an excessive interest in the contents of parked cars.

The response from the attendant was that he was checking for explosives and NCP said he was only doing his job which now involved reporting any suspicious activity to the police under the new Partnership Plus scheme involving the council, NCP and Herts Police.

In his response, James Gurney, NCP's operations support manager, cited an example of an attendant spotting what appeared to be a handgun left on the seat of a vehicle in one of the district's car parks. It turned out to be a child's toy but, according to Mr Gurney, the police, "thanked us for our assistance as it could have turned in to a serious incident".

Partnership Plus enables police to patrol with PAs to protect them if they are at risk and PAs being trained to report street crime.

NCP Services communications manager James Pritchard said that their PAs were encouraged to be on the look-out for minor crimes rather than just parking infringements.

The complainant said he found it frightening that the police seemed to be handing over part of their duties to PAs and felt that anti-terrorist work was probably best left to the police.

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