1. They are on commission.
Councils will generally not offer commission to their team of Civil Enforcement Officers on two principles:
- This will cause conflict amongst the team as they compete for one another’s Penalty Charge Notices.
- It defeats the object of penalising motorists parked in contravention.
Commission would benefit some CEOs more than others as every borough has its hot spots and barren lands. In pursuit of additional income, the parking attendants would be tempted to trespass each other’s jurisdiction thus creating conflict. Although the odds are overwhelmingly stacked in favour of at least one vehicle parking in contravention in any given day, there is actually NO guarantee that this will happen and rewarding a parking warden directly for issuing a PCN is as much to say that vehicles parked in contravention is a good thing which contradicts the meaning of a parking fine.
2. Their Bonus is a Bonus.
If certain councils pay their Civil Enforcement Officers bonuses then this is actually their way of deducting money from their pay packet.
Whether a CEO is ticket hungry or disgruntled with their employer, they are nevertheless paid by the hour, but when on patrol they run the risk of issuing ‘dodgy’ PCNs. Councils in an effort to save themselves the embarrassment of having to cancel PCNs due to CEO error make the parking wardens aware that they will deduct a certain percentage of their pay namely ‘bonus’ for each fine that is issued incorrectly. In short, it is not a matter of productivity generating more revenue but rather absence of error that retains it. So one way of guaranteeing that there are no deductions is ironically not issuing ANY fines.
3. They Have Targets.
Going back to the point about the absence of a guarantee of vehicles parked in contravention, every day is different: some days are busy, others are quiet.
However, councils do surveys and know roughly how many vehicles enter and leave their jurisdiction at certain times of the day, month and year. So a CEO patrolling the streets on foot for the best part of 8 hours a day will be expected to do something. Often this is left to the devise of the work ethic of individual Civil Enforcement Officers.
4. They Are All Mean.
A Civil Enforcement Officer’s job is primarily to patrol the streets and observe. Secondly, they are obligated to justify any vehicle parked in contravention in a number of different ways.
The phrase ”you can’t park here” is technically incorrect because a vehicle can park where it parks. But this is only so long as the Civil Enforcement Officer is not around or simply does nothing about it. Returning to the point about being on foot for 8 hours, that is a long time to have nothing to do. If there is no Civil Enforcement Officer, there is no law. And to boot, because there is a lot of basic button-pushing, the CEO is always emotionally detached from the implications that it may have for the recipient of the PCN.