With the recent news that two enforcement officers in East Sussex needed hospital treatment following assaults by members of the public, we’re asking the question if attacks on people in our industry are likely to rise elsewhere.
We really hope not.
After all, we’re only ever just doing our job, and even when that job involves enforcing parking restrictions, as was the case with the two hospitalisations in East Sussex, it’s never personal.
There has always been an uncertainty from large sections of the public, and that uncertainty can breed contempt or distrust, and to a certain extent, we’ve learned to live with it.
You have to have broad shoulders and thick skin to work in this industry, and whilst no one likes to be shouted at or called names, it has sadly come with the territory for a very long time.
What the attacks in East Sussex may signal though, is much more worrying.
Despite the uncertainty and dislike we face on a daily basis, respect is at least usually present.
Respect has clearly gone out of the window in the two attacks in East Sussex though, with lines not just being crossed, but rubbed out and stamped all over.
Now, we’re not calling for any kind of ‘hug a bailiff’ day (especially not with social distancing measures still in place) but we would encourage everyone to remind themselves that we are all still human beings.
We may be doing a job that isn’t necessarily to everyone’s taste, but it is a job that needs doing, whether you like it or not.
To the attackers in East Sussex, we don’t feel any anger or resentment, it’s more a feeling of embarrassment.
They were obviously parked illegally, at a time when access for emergency service vehicles is more important than ever.
Who is it again that’s in the wrong here?
We are respectful to everyone we deal with, no matter who they are, what they do and where they come from.
Is it so much to ask that we are at least afforded that same basic level of respect?
We don’t think so.