School crossing patrols in Suffolk are being issued with body cameras in order to curb abuse from motorists and other road users.
Suffolk County Council says in the last six months, there has been 19 ‘drive-through’ incidents – where drivers have failed to stop when signalled to by a SCP.
The 10 body cameras, purchased by the Suffolk RoadSafe partners*, will be rotated among the county’s 61 SCPs – with a particular focus on sites where offences have previously been reported.
Their introduction follows a campaign by the Eastern Region School Crossing Patrol Group to educate drivers of the potential consequences of their actions.
Suffolk County Council says more SCPs are reporting incidents and abuse is becoming a more regular occurrence.
Cllr Andrew Reid, cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: “It is outrageous that drivers are putting at risk the lives of school children by failing to stop when our patrol officers are escorting children across the road, and that some road users are being abusive towards our officers for doing their job.
“The use of body cameras will deter intolerable and abusive behaviour and can record any when it occurs. Can I also remind drivers that they must obey the Highway Code and drive slowly when passing schools.”
Linda Love, a SCP who works in Ipswich, said: “I do a very important job and my priority is the safety of the children I cross.
“It is unpleasant to be ignored by drivers, and it is not right that on occasion I have been sworn at by drivers within earshot of the children.”
*The Suffolk Roadsafe partners are: Suffolk County Council, the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner and Suffolk Constabulary.