Police to smooth the way for change

PUBLISHED: 13:46 16 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:27 15 June 2010

THERE will be no let up in parking enforcement during the transitional period before Devon County Council takes on the role. The police will continue to enforce parking restrictions around the county during the transition to civil parking enforcement. The

THERE will be no let up in parking enforcement during the transitional period before Devon County Council takes on the role.The police will continue to enforce parking restrictions around the county during the transition to civil parking enforcement.The news was given to DCC's environment, economy and culture scrutiny committee, which welcomed the announcement.DCC has applied to the Secretary of State for Transport for powers to enforce parking restrictions and is due to take on the responsibility from May.Superintendant Steve Swani told the committee the police would work with DCC to make it a smooth transition.He said: "All police community support officers and police officers are well versed in parking enforcement and will retain powers during the transitional period to ensure there is no drop-off in enforcement."The county council's approach is absolutely right with the model it's adopting. I really do think this is good news for communities and it makes sense for district councils to combine resources to enforce on-street and off-street parking, and not only for highway traffic management. There are real benefits with the flexibility of resources, and uniformed council officers could pick up some additional powers to tackle issues such as littering and fly-tipping, for example. The police will remain responsible for endorsable offences such as dangerous parking and obstruction."Committee chairman Councillor Stuart Hughes said: ""I welcome the constabulary maintaining enforcement during the transitional period and that's very reassuring. We hope all parties will work together to ensure a smooth handover and that people can look forward to an enhanced service."East Devon District Council will work in partnership with DCC and use delegated powers to enforce on-street restrictions, as well as the existing off-street parking.Lester Willmington, head of highway management at DCC, said the aim of the scheme was to ensure safe management of the roads and to improve traffic flow.He said: "We will not pursue an aggressive level of enforcement and, if traffic orders are being well observed, we will not need to expand the service, but it will have to be continually reviewed.However, the committee's vice chairman, Councillor Gordon Hook, said he was concerned that some authorities were not yet ready for the change and said this "needs to be moved along".DCC has said income from penalty charges will be reinvested in the sevice and the changeover will be preceded by a publicity campaign.

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