Nottingham

Concerns over Nottinghamshire traffic warden cameras

Body Camera Image copyright Peterborough City Council
Image caption It is hoped the body cameras, similar to these, will record attacks and abuse

Plans to equip traffic wardens in Nottinghamshire with body cameras have been met with criticism about a "surveillance state".

The county council is due to vote on a new contract which will see enforcement officers kitted out with lapel cameras.

Nottinghamshire County Council's traffic enforcement manager Gareth Johnson said the devices should help reduce attacks on staff.

But Nick Pickles from Big Brother Watch said the cameras were "over the top".

"The act of having cameras on is quite intimidating and could escalate a situation," Mr Pickles said.

"If a police officer has a camera, those interactions can be used as evidence in court and a police officer has the ability to deny your liberty.

"A traffic warden can't deny you your liberty. They can't use force against you so it essentially becomes another arm of the surveillance state."

'Duty of care'

Mr Johnson said: "There is a pressing health and safety need here.

"We have a duty of care to our employees while they're going about their statutory duty," he said.

"If we replicate what has happened across the country, we should see a drop of half to two-thirds [in physical and verbal threats]," he added.

According to Nottinghamshire County Council figures, 51 verbal or physical incidents were reported last year.

The council is due to vote on the proposal next week.

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