Crackdown on illegal school parking
MOTORISTS who put the lives of children at risk by parking illegally outside Norfolk's schools could face prosecution in a crackdown by police. A campaign launched on Tuesday by Norfolk police together with Norfolk County Council is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and will see members of the public and the school community urged to provide police and council officers with information that can help them catch motorists who park irresponsibly and illegally around schools.
MOTORISTS who put the lives of children at risk by parking illegally outside Norfolk's schools could face prosecution in a crackdown by police.
A campaign launched on Tuesday by Norfolk police together with Norfolk County Council is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and will see members of the public and the school community urged to provide police and council officers with information that can help them catch motorists who park irresponsibly and illegally around schools.
Three schools have been selected to take part in the pilot stage of the Schoolwatch safer parking campaign. They are Robert Kett Junior School in Wymondham, Woodlands Primary School in Bradwell and Terrington St Clement Community Primary School near King's Lynn.
Education forms a key part of the campaign and parents will be informed of the laws around parking near schools in a bid to promote child safety and keep the peace between local residents and motorists.
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There will be assemblies at all three schools, with children performing a play about the new campaign and police officers reminding parents about the rules of the road.
Parents on Tuesday attended an assembly at Robert Kett Junior School as the campaign was launched.
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A leaflet has been produced by Norfolk police and the county council offering a useful list of dos and don'ts for motorists on the school run.
The scheme allows for residents, parents, teachers and anyone in the community concerned about a certain vehicle to give details to the police via a dedicated e-mail address, telephone and text number. Each school will also have a Schoolwatch postbox where information about a problem vehicle can be posted in the box.
Once these details have been received by the police, officers will attend and observe the parking. If the vehicle is parked illegally a record will be made and if this continues a letter will be sent to the owner explaining the problem and that they will be risking prosecution if they continue to park illegally.
PC Michael Edney, Norfolk police's casualty reduction officer, said: “The initiative has been launched to address the issue of dangerous and illegal parking near schools at pick up and drop-off times.
“Despite our efforts in recent years to eradicate this problem, it is still continuing.
“I welcome this new approach and am very keen to monitor the pilots. I hope this will be a long-term solution.
“The campaign is heavily about education. However it must be stressed that we will not hesitate to prosecute the owners of persistent offending vehicles.”
Rosalie Monbiot, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children's services, said: “Illegal parking around schools is a real hazard and is putting children's lives at risk. I welcome this new campaign as it highlights just how seriously we and the police are taking this issue - we cannot gamble with children's safety.”