Four threats to traffic wardens in the Lurgan area

Pic by Heathcliff O'malley.Parking ticket pictures in central London.
Pic by Heathcliff O'malley.Parking ticket pictures in central London.

Traffic wardens in Lurgan have been subjected to threatening behaviour four times over a period of six months.

Figures revealed that more than 100 cases of threats to traffic wardens have been reported across Northern Ireland.

Some traffic wardens were warned that they would be ‘burned out of their homes’ by irate drivers.

Belfast tops the list with more than 40 incidents of threatening behaviour towards parking attendants.

The statistics were released in response to an assembly question by Ulster Unionist MLA Adrian Cochrane-Watson who was prompted to table the query after hearing of serious incidents outside Belfast City Hall during one week in November.

A protest by more than 200 black taxis based at the public hire rank outside City Hall calling for greater spaces and facilities for taxis was sparked by a £45 penalty.

Mr Cochrane-Watson said: “There are 10 active cases being brought forward by police arising out of incidents over five days in November outside Belfast City Hall.”

He said the fact that eight towns across the province had just one recorded incident of threats being made showed there ‘is good enough rapport between traffic wardens and the public’.

However, he added: “These are serious issues. These are not just cases were somebody gives a bit of lip. There have been cases where attendants have been threatened with being burned out of their homes, where somebody have named the street the parking attendant lives in.

“I don’t think it is acceptable, and indeed there are many occasions where men and women have to be moved and re-deployed. They are being threatened while doing their job. We all get frustrated with parking but this is not justified.”

In 2008 parking attendants were withdrawn from parts of west Belfast after threats from dissident republicans.

No tickets have been issued in Coalisland for five years despite being notorious for poor parking.