Neighbours told to dob in selfish parkers who block the pavement to POLICE under new scheme | The Sun

COPS in Norwich have launched a new scheme urging neighbours to dob in selfish parkers who block footpaths.

Operation Chatty has the support of anti-car campaigners but others have questioned its worth as a use of police resources.

Under the new scheme, anyone caught causing a dangerous obstruction could be slapped with a £90 fine.

Members of the public are encouraged to email police if they suspect an offence, complete with a picture, vehicle details and date/time.

Officers will then review the evidence and send obstructionist drivers a letter of warning.

If that is ignored they would look to speak to the driver in person before possibly hitting them with fines.

A police spokeswoman was, though, quick to emphasise that this only applied to cars causing dangerous obstructions and that other parking offences were the responsibility of the local council.

This has been the case since 2011, but cops retained control of pavement obstruction offences.

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Under the 1980 Highways Act an offence is committed if a person "without lawful authority or excuse, in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage along a highway."

While Norfolk Police will only be issuing fines under Operation Chatty, the offence can also carry a prison term of up to 51 weeks.

However, some have questioned whether the scheme is a valid use of police resources.

This criticism comes amid reports that police across the nation are failing to catch criminals who commit thefts, burglaries and other significant offences.

Andy Symons, Chairman of Norfolk Police Federation said: "In the grand scheme of things police have probably got more important things to get on with rather than reviewing pictures of a pavement."

Mr Symons did, though, add that he trusted the force to make the right decisions in dealing with parking offences and said they cannot simply refuse to address these issues.

A police spokeswoman said of the scheme: "This is a targeted response to a community issue that has been raised with local officers.

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"Whilst it is predominantly for the council to enforce parking issues, we will always strive to work with our partners to address matters that mean the most to our communities.

The scheme will run in the North of Norwich and residents are encouraged to report offences by email to [email protected]

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