Give the police a hand; Careers in parking enforcement If you can handle pressure and like to be out and about, a career as a traffic warden may appeal. Michelle Rushton made sure she had time left on the meter to find out more.
What does a career as a traffic warden involve?
Traffic wardens are responsible for ensuring traffic and parking laws and regulations are observed. Their work involves monitoring parking meters, controlled parking zones and one-way systems, and checking for infringements of waiting restrictions and restrictions on the loading and unloading of goods.
They report parking offences, as well as issuing fixed penalty notices to offenders, and may occasionally be required to appear in court to give evidence against offenders.
Traffic wardens also have to make sure vehicles are displaying current motor vehicle licences (tax discs), and assist police in looking out for stolen vehicles. They can arrange for vehicles to be clamped, or removed by the police to a parking pound if necessary.
Some police forces have extended the role of traffic wardens, to cover moving traffic offences and deal with antisocial behaviour - combining the role of traffic warden with that of a community support officer.
What personal skills do you need?
You should be physically fit, as traffic wardens spend a lot of time on their feet, and prepared to work outdoors in all weather conditions. Good eyesight is necessary (glasses and contact lenses are acceptable).
You need to have a positive attitude with a good sense of humour, and should get on well with the public, police and other colleagues. You must also be assertive with common sense, as you need to be able to think clearly and react sensibly under pressure, coping well with unexpected situations.
What training do you need?
Training differs from area to area, as traffic wardens are employed by local police forces, so you should contact your local force for more details.
No formal educational gualifications are reguired in most areas, although some employers may ask for GCSEs. Applicants often have to pass a written entrance test in English and a maths test. You may also have to take a medical examination.
Much of the training is on the job, under the supervision of an experienced colleague or police officer. This usually covers traffic regulations, how to complete and issue tickets for parking offences, methods of note taking and writing short reports, technigues of giving evidence in court and basic first aid. Training may also cover handling anti-social behaviour.
What are the opportunities for career advancement?
With experience, traffic wardens may be promoted to senior grades, such as traffic warden supervisor or manager.
What is the salary?
(Rough guideline). Traffic wardens usually earn between pounds 14,000 and pounds 16,000 a year.
UK Police Services Portal, www.police.uk
Police Service Recruitment, www.policecouldyou.co.uk
Details are for information purposes only. Jobs are not necessarily available