|pircture credit www.verydemotivational.com|
On 17 March 2012 the Guardian printed a whole page dedicated to the working life of an NSL traffic warden. After all the bad publicity in Westminster with the Hakim Berkani case ( all details on the Nutsville blog ) this page of puff was a welcome respite for NSL and read like an advertorial.
I particularly liked this paragraph:
Sarpong insists that he has never been set a quota or target. "There are lots of days when I don't issue any penalty notices," he claims. Which must make the daily beat pretty boring – does he feel a thrill when, after hours of blameless drivers, he spots a culprit?
There is a long pause. "I don't want to answer that," he says with the faintest of smiles.
Firstly I simply didn't believe there are days when no tickets are issued in a 12 hour shift. Then I wondered if that had happened in Barnet so I got my good friend Mr Mustard to put an FOI question in for me, as he is the expert in that area, and so he refined the question into a suitable form.
He asked how many full shifts had been carried out by Barnet's "traffic wardens" in February 2012 that had resulted in not a single ticket being issued. Now there are over 50 wardens and 28 or so shifts a month so that is 1400 chances to go 7 hours and not issue a ticket.
The answer "None" Yes that is right, not a single complete shift passed without at least one penalty charge notice being issued. Traffic warden on duty = certain penalty charge notice issuance.
So either Mr Sarpong is being economical with the truth ( and not with his tickets ) or NSL employees will be sitting with their feet up on rainy days in all the cafes of Barnet not issuing tickets when they take over on 1 May 2012.
If anyone in Enfield wants to ask the London Borough of Enfield for the statistics of tickets issued on each shift for the last year then be my guest. I think you can guess what the answer will be.
Remember, if you get a PCN, appeal it! Don't just pay without at least writing a nice letter to the council. The longer the better. If you can run to 3 or 4 pages of badly scrawled prose then you are doing your bit to clog up the system as someone has to read it all.