Traffic wardens in Herefordshire have been subject to a range of physical and verbal assaults from the public while carrying out their jobs, it has been revealed.

There were six physical and 11 verbal assaults on wardens, now officially known as civil enforcement officers (CEOs), in the financial year up to this April, according to a freedom of information response by Herefordshire Council.

One warden was pushed, and another hit, when issuing penalty charge notices (PCNs) to illegally parked vehicles.


Another was driven at three times while attempting to issue a PCN – though “there was no injury” from this, the council said, while another shoving was also recorded.

A warden was grabbed by the wrist while speaking to a member of the public, and an unspecified object was thrown at another, hitting them on the head.

The 11 verbal assaults meanwhile “included verbal abuse (shouting and swearing), threats of assault and physical harm, and hate speech”, Herefordshire Council said.


Directly employed by the council, traffic wardens issued just under 20,000 PCNs in financial year 2021/22, the last for which data is available, for 40 different kinds of parking offences.

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Of these, 4,700 were challenged, leading to over 2,000, or more than one in ten, being cancelled.

PCNs made up 55 per cent of the council’s £1 million-plus revenue from parking that year, the remainder coming from parking fees and permits.

But this was all-but matched by the cost of staffing, at over £600,000, and other expenses, yielding the council a surplus of just under £24,000 from parking.