A motorist who abused a neighbourhood officer has been fined by magistrates after Colchester Borough Council took action to remind people it will not tolerate abuse of its staff.
The incident happened on a housing estate after a motorist gesticulated angrily at the neighbourhood officer and then proceeded to follow the council vehicle back to its base in Shrub End, where the motorist then verbally assaulted and threatened the member of staff in the car park.
The defendant, who appeared at Colchester Magistrates Court on 14 June 2022, pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay a £300 fine, £105 costs and a £95 victim surcharge.
Cllr Martin Goss, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services and Waste, said: “We will not tolerate abuse or aggression towards any of our employees and will act where necessary to prosecute those who behave inappropriately.
“Our teams work very hard to keep our communities safe and clean 365 days a year, in all weathers, and they should be able to carry out their work without fear of abuse.”
The council’s neighbourhood teams are deployed across the borough clearing up mess, cleaning streets, dealing with fly-tipping, and emptying litter and dog bins. Some Neighbourhood Officers and vehicles are equipped with body-worn/vehicle cameras for their own personal safety and to act as a deterrent to acts of aggression or verbal and physical abuse towards them. Footage from incidents where threatening behaviour is displayed can be used as evidence in court.