Call for police to reverse their decison to axe traffic wardens

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A former top cop and Hawick councillor is urging a rethink on traffic warden cuts.

Andrew Farquhar is also calling on community groups, councillors and politicians to lobby Police Scotland in a bid to halt what he says is an “ill thought out” proposal.

Speaking to the Hawick News this week, Mr Farquhar, a former police superintendant and head of CID in the Borders, said: “Traffic wardens were first introduced to the area nearly 50 years ago by the then chief constable to deal with town centre parking issues and minor traffic related issues.”

Mr Farquhar, who served as a Borders councillor from 2003-2007, added that their clear identification as “Police Traffic Wardens” has, in many instances, proved a vital link to the police.

He added: “Only three months ago I was walking along High Street when a lad stole an item from the rear of a delivery van. I asked the traffic warden to call Wilton Hill which he did. The lad ran up a close, I blocked his escape and the police arrived on the scene quickly to arrest him.” Mr Farquhar added that the warden is often the only visible sign of law and order on the streets of the town.

“There are many other examples of the alarm being raised by traffic wardens, not only where crimes are being committed, but also in response to medical emergencies and other street incidents.

The Hawick warden was due to be scrapped at the end of December 2013 but the move was shelved for a month.

But it now appears that the cuts will be implemented as planned after Assistant Chief Constable Wayne Mawson confirmed the cuts would go ahead on February 3 and Scottish Borders Council said it was no longer
in talks with police to extend the service.

And this, according to Andrew Farquhar is not in line with Police Scotland’s slogan of “Keeping People Safe”.

“Traffic wardens have an important part to play within our community. Police Scotland should think again about this ill thought out proposal.”