Haverhill’s mayor slammed the town’s inspector for ‘ignoring’ the priority of tackling illegal parking in the High Street.
Cllr Roger André lambasted Insp Peter Ferrie at the quarterly public priority-setting meeting of the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), which was held at the arts centre on Monday (March 10).
Illegal parking on the High Street has continuously been elected as a SNT priority for years, despite police saying issuing the fixed penalty notices makes no difference until Suffolk County Council decide to act to either decriminalise or pedestrianise the road.
Police issued 202 tickets between the September and December SNT meetings and 405 between December and March.
“We’ve issued three tickets to the same person who said £30 on a ticket than 30p for the car park – that makes no sense to me but that’s what people are saying,” said Insp Ferrie.
“There are far better priorities for us to be looking at.”
When someone raised the problem of drug use on the recreation ground, Insp Ferrie said: “If I could direct my officers to be on the rec dealing with drugs or be on the High Street giving tickets out I would 100 per cent go with your priority.”
Insp Ferrie said that even if High Street parking was not picked as a priority officers would continue to issue tickets, but ‘they would focus their time on more important issues’.
However, Cllr André said: “Every time we have asked for this we have been ignored and it has not been treated as a priority.”
Insp Ferrie countered: “That’s totally unfair as we’ve issued 607 tickets in the last six months so you can’t say that we’ve ignored it or haven’t treated it as a priority.”
Cllr André urged people not to vote for parking due to the police ‘ignoring’ it, and replied: “You’re not treating this as a priority now.
“The fact that it hasn’t been prioritised means there’s no point making it a priority again.”
Insp Ferrie retorted: “I think officers should be dealing with more important things but I can promise you there’s pressure on them to go out down the High Street.
“I think you’re being totally unfair.”
For all the latest news see today’s (Thursday, March 13) Echo.