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Wardens detail ‘aggressive’ behaviour in Coalisland town

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Wardens detail ‘aggressive’ behaviour in Coalisland town thumbnailShopkeepers, pedestrians and motorists are said to have hurled abuse at Traffic Wardens as they patrolled through Coalisland.

THE FULL account of the abuse received by Traffic Wardens during their first patrol of Coalisland in years has been revealed.

The Traffic Wardens who were forced to withdraw from the town during a patrol told of how carloads of youths followed the wardens around the town and told them 'not to come back'.

Some shopkeepers, pedestrians and motorists are also said to have hurled 'large amounts of abuse' as they patrolled through the town.

In an email the parking attendant described how three vehicles drove off on them during their operation.

"We were subjected to large amounts of abuse from members of the public, shopkeepers and people travelling through the town in vehicles," the official wrote.

“On a number of occasions we were photographed and challenged as to what we were doing in Coalisland and that Lord Morrow had no right to ask us to go through as the town has nothing to do with him.

“One shopkeeper got very aggressive when [my colleague] was unable to issue to certain vehicles as there were no lines present as is the case with the majority of the town.

“On leaving the town we were subjected to more abuse and told not to come back whilst several car loads of young males followed us around the town giving us dog's abuse."

It was also revealed that the wardens, fearing for their safety, wanted a police 'escort' for their next visit to Coalisland.

A spokesperson for the PSNI told the Courier: "Police will endeavour to attend to ensure that a breach of the peace does not occur".

These revelations have led to Lord Morrow questioning the Department of the Communities initial response to the incident.

"At last we are hearing from a traffic attendant, who tells the real story, and it is diametrically opposed to the departmental responses," he said.

“It appears gangs of youths toured Coalisland hurling abuse and threats against attendants, not to mention input from pedestrians, traders and other motorists.

“This is utterly unacceptable and it is now obvious police should have been alerted to this blatant anti-social behaviour, and I challenge anyone to describe to as anything else. It simply would not be tolerated in any other town."

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA also explained why the lacking of enforced parking regulation in the town had come to his attention.

“As for those who decry my efforts for parking regulation parity across all towns, but criticise my focus on Coalisland which is outside my constituency, I remind them I am entitled to obtain comparative statistics for the towns which do fall within, Fermanagh & South Tyrone, such as Fivemletown which has been over-patrolled in recent years.  I have no doubt whatsoever if such appalling behaviour was exhibited there, the police would swoop - and rightly so.

“I commend the initiative in striving to bring traffic regulation to Coalisland in the interests of the disabled, the infirm, emergency vehicle access and traffic flow.

“These important factors are lost on the thug-rule mentality of those who plague communities.

"They would be first to complain if an ambulance was delayed in attending to them due to careless, disrespectful parking.

“We are repeatedly reminded of the mantra 'equality or neutrality'. That has to apply across the board, not just where and when it is convenient."

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