Parish council launches ID card scheme

FEW people might think of impersonating local politicians - but in one Suffolk village, council members are taking no chances and arming themselves with identity cards.

FEW people might think of impersonating local politicians - but in one Suffolk village, council members are taking no chances and arming themselves with identity cards.

Those who came up with the novel idea of equipping Great Cornard Parish Council with ID cards believe they will prevent con artists being able to claim they are councillors and will give badged council members more confidence in dealing with members of the public.

The idea came about because of fears that even mundane parish council tasks - such as checking that grass has been cut in the public park - can arouse public suspicion.

It is also hoped the new parish council cards will help bring the community closer to their councillors if they can be clearly identified especially at public events like fairs and community meetings.


You may also want to watch:


Neville Proctor, parish council member, believes the cards are as much about giving the councillor confidence as protecting the public.

He said: “If, for instance, we need to find out about play equipment in the play area and you are approaching mothers it is good to produce a card.

Most Read

“You can say who you are and they can check the information. I have 40 years experience in youth football so I know you can't be too careful.

“If you're talking to people or simply checking grass has been cut in the park - in this day and age everyone assumes the worst.”

Peter Beer, council chairman, said members had backed Mr Proctor's proposals unanimously because they felt the cards would reassure the public.

Mr Beer said: “The cards are a great idea because it shows we are not just busybodies. It also gives us greater confidence when talking to the public.”

Suffolk police's advice to the public is to check that the card's details tally with the holder.

“Make sure you check the details of your caller. Ask them to show you an identification card - this should include their name, a photograph and the name and number of who they represent,” said a spokesman.

“Check that the photograph matches that of the caller. Genuine callers will always carry photographic identification with them and will not mind waiting while you check it and confirm their identity.”

For further advice on ID cards contact your local police station or crime reduction officer.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus