Kettering PCSOs to hand out parking tickets

Kettering PCSO Mick Roche issues a parking ticket.
Kettering PCSO Mick Roche issues a parking ticket.

PCSOs have been given the power to give out parking tickets in a pilot scheme launched by Northamptonshire Police.

The force says inconsiderate and illegal parking is one of the top concerns raised by the public.

The trial has begun in Kettering, with police hoping the initiative will free up police officers – who previously had to issue tickets in the town, one of only two places in the county where illegal parking is criminalised – to focus on higher-level crime.

PCSO Michael Roche said: “We are responding to members of the public. They all say parking is an issue.

“It saves police officers being deployed to low-level parking incidents. They can get on with the job of preventing crime.”

Previously, PCSOs were only able to confirm a vehicle was parked illegally, but had no powers to issue tickets.

PCSO Roche added: “It was quite frustrating for the members of the public.”

Sgt Julie Mead said she hoped the move would be positive for residents, many of whom have complained about not being able to park – even in their own street where permit parking schemes are in place.

She added: “People have got to park somewhere so we have got to be proportionate.

“The last thing I want to do is start harrassing motorists, but we have got to think about people living here.

“Because the community has said it’s what concerns them, that’s what we are going to do.

“What I don’t want to happen is my PCSOs are taken away from the good community work they do. They are not going to become traffic wardens.”