Overhaul of Suffolk parking enforcement planned by 2018

Police are investigating

Police are investigating

Drivers ignoring parking rules can expect to be fined more quickly in the future, Bury St Edmunds’ town council has been told.

Drivers ignoring parking rules can expect to be fined more quickly in the future, Bury St Edmunds’ town council has been told.

With police resources stretched, officers have often been left with no choice but to prioritise more serious offences above enforcing parking regulations.

However, this could be changing shortly after Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner told the town council the authority to fine people would be handed over to the borough council and county council by 2018.

“I can absolutely assure you the principle is well established. That’s what we need to happen,” Tim Passmore told the full council meeting.

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“I know it’s a problem in Bury. I’ve had people who have come to see me. What we need to do in two years is get responsibility for parking to become civil enforcement so that the boroughs and districts take it on.”

He said the groups would need to work “in partnership” and it would benefit Suffolk to keep the fine money from drivers parking illegally.

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Currently, parking in Suffolk is enforced by Suffolk Constabulary in all areas outside Ipswich borough and by civil enforcement officers at Ipswich Borough Council.

Mr Passmore added: “At the moment if you get a parking ticket that money goes to the chancellor – it doesn’t stay in Suffolk.”

He told Bury’s councillors that they were not alone in having issues with parking enforcement.

“It’s not just in Bury, it’s all over the place,” he said. “We’re one of just three counties in England and Wales where parking enforcement is left to the constabulary.”

As Suffolk police looks to make savings, including reducing the number of PCSOs from the current level of around 160 down to 100 to fund more police constables, the western area commander Andrew Mason told the council they had to be realistic in what they could expect from police in terms of parking enforcement.

“We’re not not doing parking, but I guess you need to manage your expectations about how high up the priorities that is,” he said.

“If members of the public ring us about parking we’re still going to deal with it. We have to be realistic about the list of priorities and where that is on the list of priorities.

“If it’s controlled parking problems down a street we all know we can go and give lots of tickets out and two hours later they’re all back there again.”

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