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Police chief welcomes PCSO to stop illegal parking

Monday, 12th May 2014.

Haverhill's police chief has welcomed the decision to trial having a dedicated PCSO to deal with High Street parking offences.

Insp Peter Ferrie said the new officer to be half-funded by Suffolk County Council, would spend the majority of their time walking up and down the high street and issuing tickets for illegal parking.

The move was announced at a special public meeting last week, called by Suffolk's police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore to hear Haverhill residents' views on local policing issues.

Mr Passmore was accompanied by Suffolk's chief constable, Douglas Paxton.

The county council agreed the funding after abandoning its latest idea for traffic regulation, which would have involved making Camps Road one-way beside the market square, and reversing the one-way system in Mill Road.

This had attracted numerous objections and a petition from residents in Recreation Road, Mill Road and Helions Park Avenue, concerned about the impact of traffic and heavy lorries in particular, in residential roads.

The idea had been driven by Haverhill Town Council, which has been urging action to reduce traffic in High Street between 10am and 4pm,when it is supposed to be closed except for access and blue badge holders.

A series of public meetings had insisted police enforce the parking and traffic regulations, but their efforts had failed to produce any impact on driver behaviour.

So the county council have fallen back on a new idea of providing a PCSO to enforce the regulations all the time.

Insp Ferrie said the officer would be based in Haverhill Safer Neighbourhood Team,an addition to the current full quota. The appointment would be reviewed after three years.

He confirmed a PCSO can issue parking tickets but is not empowered to stop traffic or prevent moving traffic offences.

Town councillors had wanted the county council to decriminalise parking, so that the town council could employ a parking warden, who would be paid for out of the fines.

However, Suffolk County Council say decriminalising parking would be too costly, and the cost of a PCSO is only 29,000 a year.

The town council also feared a repeat of a similar venture undertaken by Sudbury Town Council, who found that, in reality, they were not able to influence what the PCSO did once they had funded them.

Haverhill Online News

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