'Terminator' to patrol new town

FIRST it was Haverhill, then it was Sudbury… but a traffic warden nicknamed The Terminator has been given a new beat to patrol.

Laurence Cawley

FIRST it was Haverhill, then it was Sudbury… but a traffic warden nicknamed The Terminator has been given a new beat to patrol.

Suffolk police has confirmed its Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) John Woodgate, nicknamed The Terminator because of the sheer number of tickets he handed out in Haverhill, has been temporarily stationed in Bury St Edmunds.

The move comes after Suffolk police had to step in and demand a leading social networking site take down a page set up by angry motorists in Sudbury venting their spleen against Mr Woodgate.


You may also want to watch:


Mr Woodgate was unavailable for comment yesterday about the new assignment but a spokeswoman for Suffolk police said the move was temporary which, for rogue motorists in Sudbury, means he could be back.

A spokeswoman for the police said: “PCSOs may temporarily move location; this is generally for training and development purposes.

Most Read

“We cannot discuss individual officers' personal details.”

A keen cyclist, Mr Woodgate arrived in Sudbury last year from Haverhill, where residents compared him with the relentless cyborg played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film Terminator.

When he first got to work in Sudbury business leaders welcomed his arrival, claiming parking in the market town was in a state of “anarchy”.

But less than a year later, the 60-year-old PCSO discovered a page on the social networking website Facebook had been set up in his honour which, within just a couple of weeks had more than 1,000 people had joined.

Last week Suffolk police confirmed it had asked the site to take down the page because of the rudeness of some of the messages. Facebook said the site had been removed because it contained “hateful, threatening and obscene” criticism of Mr Woodgate.

But Mr Woodgate has now been spotted out and about in Bury St Edmunds, and Suffolk police last night confirmed he had been moved temporarily to Bury.

A spokeswoman for the police said: “PCSOs may temporarily move location, this is generally for training and development purposes.

“We cannot discuss individual officers' personal details.”

When he took up his post in Sudbury last January, Mr Wooodgate told the EADT: “My brief is to clean up this town - and I will look for any cars parked on double yellow lines, in loading bays or anywhere illegally.”

He said he was happy with the nickname “Terminator” - which he received after he handed out 1,000 tickets a year during his previous posting in Haverhill. By comparison, the number of tickets dished out in Sudbury in the year prior to Mr Woodgate's arrival was just 519. By November last year, Suffolk police had issued 1,056 fixed penalties since Mr Woodgate arrived, which raised about �30,000.

“If the name makes people think twice about what they're doing or where they are parking then that's fine,” he said. “I won't persecute innocent motorists but I will be looking closely.”

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