Police taking zero tolerance to drivers parking dangerously outside Ipswich schools

Park Smart campaign

Park Smart campaign - Credit: Archant

Parents who helped improve a serious school parking problem have been advised by police to stop patrolling for their own safety.

Broke Hall Community Primary School in Ipswich was considered one of the worst in Ipswich with some parents creating a dangerous environment outside the school by parking on the double yellow and zig zag lines.

Since the start of this term a group of mums have patrolled the school gates at drop-off and pick-up time, handing out leaflets and photographing offenders, and have dramatically improved the problem.

They have now been warned by Kesgrave and Rushmere St Andrew’s PCSO Mike Sarbutts to stop patrols because they are putting themselves at risk.

Mr Sarbutts said: “Parking regulations need to be dealt with by the police rather than members of public.

“There’s nothing wrong with parents discussing it but we don’t ever encourage people to go out on streets and deal with it themselves.

“Parking is an emotive subject and some people can get very heated.”

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Mother-of-one Wendy Kinsbury, 43, who spearheaded the campaign, said there were now around six repeat offenders who were all so aggressive that there was nothing they could do.

Both Mr Sarbutts and Justin Moss, PSCO for Kesgrave safer neighbourhoods team, now patrol Broke Hall every morning and afternoon and are taking on a “zero tolerance approach”.

“Some people will continue to flout the rules but because of the amount of time we spend outside school they become recognised by us and we will go straight to ticketing”, Mr Sarbutts said.

Former patroller Emma Stewart, 38, said she “gives it two weeks” before drivers slipped back into old habits.

“It has been a successe story but it is something that has to carry on with the momentum”, she added.

“Us having to stop on advice of police is a very big test on how much difference it has made.”

Mr Sarbutts warned that people who continued to commit parking offences would receive a fixed penalty notice and £30 fine.

“People need to remember the area outside school is very dangerous and they must slow down.

“If you are five minutes late then fine, at least all the children can get to school uninjured.” For more on the Park Smart campaign, visit our webpage here