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Zero tolerance of abuse towards council staff

News release issued:

A motorist who admitted assaulting a Civil Enforcement Officer has been fined more than a thousand pounds by magistrates.

The incident happened on Severnside South, Bewdley in May 2021 after the officer had issued a Penalty Charge Notice to the motorist.

The defendant, Stuart Hudson from Springhill Rise, Bewdley pleaded guilty at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday 14 January 2022.

The court heard that Stuart Hudson, was issued a penalty charge notice by a Civil Enforcement Officer after he parked his vehicle illegally on double yellow lines. Hudson returned to his vehicle and pulled the penalty notice off his car and dropped it onto the floor. The officer told Hudson he was committing a littering offence but refused to pick the notice up. Hudson then got into his car and assaulted the officer with his vehicle.

The officer’s body-worn camera recorded the incident, which was reported immediately to West Mercia Police and used as evidence in court.

Hudson pleaded guilty to charges of assault by beating, driving without due care and attention, failing to stop following an accident, driving whilst disqualified and driving with no insurance.

He was fined a total of £1,613 which included a compensation charge of £350 to the Civil Enforcement Officer.

Hudson also received a community order of 150 hours’ unpaid work in the community, an 8-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months and disqualified from driving for 6 months.

Officers are equipped with body-worn video cameras for their own personal safety and to act as a deterrent to acts of aggression or verbal and physical abuse towards them. Footage from incidents where motorists display threatening behaviour will be used as evidence to prosecute perpetrators.

Councillor John Thomas, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Operational Services said: “The majority of people are respectful of our enforcement officers but there are unfortunately some people who think the rules do not apply to them.

“There is no excuse for abuse, we operate a zero tolerance policy on physical and verbal aggression towards council staff by members of the public. The safety of our officers is of utmost importance and they should not be fearful of carrying out their duties.”

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