CAR PARKING enforcement officers in Bracknell are “often subjected to verbal abuse”, meaning many leave the roles shortly after being employed.

As a result of this, the council’s parking enforcement providers SABA see a “reasonably high” turnover of staff which means the company struggles to find new staff when roles are vacant.

Damian James, assistant director of contract services at Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) said: “It is not an easy job, it is a challenging role.”

There are currently 5 civil enforcement officers (CEO) in Bracknell who can issue penalty charge notices if they spot car parking contraventions.

CEOs are given four weeks of training before entering the role, and this involves doing exams to ensure they are aware of parking laws, as well as shadowing existing parking enforcement officers.

Mr James continued: “Our turnover is reasonably high, unfortunately. Having invested in the training it is disappointing when people then decide it’s not the career for them.

“It’s a challenging role, it’s not for everybody. We have got some excellent CEOs that work within SABA doing a sterling job in quite challenging circumstances.

“We try and encourage them to stay as long as possible because they’re doing a great job, but it is not always possible.”

The employees are given body cameras to record any possible abuse and Mr James recommended if CEOs call the police if they do face abuse.

Councillors discussed SABA’s car parking enforcement strategy at a meeting on Tuesday, March 5, where they also heard that CEOs split their time patrolling Bracknell between six different areas.

Schools in the borough are inspected on a six-week rotational basis and a report produced for the council outlined that following a recent meeting with Thames Valley Police, there will be joint visits from police officers and CEOs to schools that frequently have parking breaches.

However, the report read: “The long term reality is that current parking

practices around schools are unlikely to change unless there is a substantial move towards increasing parking availability on site and moving towards more sustainable travel.”