Police need to ticket disabled spot offenders

| 08/03/2018

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian statusCan you confirm the RCIPS policy towards people parked in disabled parking spots? There have been reports that the RCIPS will endeavour to contact the owner of the vehicle to ask them to move before sending a patrol vehicle to ticket the offending vehicle. Here is a copy of one such report posted on The Blue Spot Facebook page. Is this official RCIPS policy? If so, will the RCIPS extend this courtesy (of calling to advise you are illegally parked) to all parking violators (or for all traffic offences)?

Auntie’s answer: I will start by saying that I did ask the RCIPS and a spokesperson made it clear that the actions described in The Blue Spot post are “not in line with our policy or procedures”, adding, “Officers should enforce parking violations of this nature when observed.”

In some instances, if an officer is responding to a report and sees the handicapped parking violation, the original complaint might take precedence, depending on the nature of that report. I think we can all agree that is reasonable. In this case, though, the RCIPS representative acknowledged those circumstances did not appear to apply.

“If a member of the public calls the George Town Police Station and makes a report, that report should be logged and sent to an officer for them to attend,” the spokesperson said, adding that because of your question, they “will ensure that our communications officers are reminded of this”.

In addition, “All police officers have been instructed to enforce disabled parking laws in the course of their normal duties, and officers attached to the traffic unit have also prioritised this.”

Noting that last month RCIPS officers dealt with 20 incidents involving disabled parking violations, the spokesperson said, “Ensuring disabled persons have access to spaces reserved for them is a matter of law, and enforcing this law will continue to be a priority for the RCIPS.”

Regular readers of this column will know how I feel about drivers who illegally and selfishly take up handicapped parking spots. I also realise how frustrating it can be when you see a violation and nothing seems to be done about it. But it is still important to keep this issue in the public domain, which I am happy to do.

The RCIPS also advised that members of the public “should not hesitate to approach and speak with officers in public regarding any matter, including traffic violations of this nature”.

I think we should put aside any previous frustrations and take the police at their word, that if we see a blue spot violation we should go right up to an officer if one is nearby and report it.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson also advised that anyone who isn’t satisfied with their interaction with police may email the RCIPS public relations department at this address.

To file a formal complaint, you can contact the independent Office of the Ombudsman. Here is the link to its website.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Parking Questions

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