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Number of police traffic wardens plummets to 18

Published 20/07/2015

Most traffic wardens now work for local authorities
Most traffic wardens now work for local authorities

The number of police traffic wardens in England and Wales has plummeted in the last decade, with less than 20 now pounding the streets.

Analysis of Home Office figures of the police workforce by the Press Association shows there were just 18 police traffic wardens left by the end of the financial year in March.

This compares with 2,108 some 12 years earlier.

The number of police traffic wardens has dropped almost every year since then, dipping to below the 1,000-mark in 2006 and slipping to double figures in 2012.

The drop has not meant a reprieve for motorists, however, as the majority of those police traffic wardens have simply had their contracts transferred to the local authority.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Secretary has been clear that this Government will finish the job of police reform. We will bring forward proposals to increase the flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness of the police workforce in due course, including how best to deliver traffic enforcement.

"The day-to-day management and deployment of the police personnel is an operational matter for chief constables, in conjunction with local police and crime commissioners."

While the Department for Transport recommends that all local authorities should take over the responsibility of on-street parking enforcement so the police can concentrate on more serious priorities, it is a matter for the local authority to decide whether and when to apply to the Secretary of State for civil parking enforcement powers.

The Home Office was unable to confirm where the 18 police traffic wardens were based, but said they were likely to be spread across the country rather than concentrated in one area.

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