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Old 03-24-2013, 02:46 PM   #1
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Giving out parking tickets In Vancouver brings on ‘abuse, threats, assaults’

Vancouver parking-ticket officers have been punched, spat on, verbally abused, threatened with death and involved in violent brawls with irate citizens in hundreds of confrontations over the past three years, an investigation by The Province reveals.

Documents released to The Province under freedom-of-information legislation include about 300 parking enforcement officer “incident reports” filed from January 2010 to December 2012.

Under headings including “excessive verbal abuse,” “threats” and “assault,” officers report allegations in detailed narratives.

The reports reviewed by The Province give a rare glimpse into the general hatred and violence that parking enforcement officers face while making their rounds.

In a majority of incidents, verbal aggression including swearing, racial and sexual slurs are reported, and often death threats are involved.

COFFEE, EGGS, GARBAGE THROWN

Officers reported being threatened with baseball bats and tire irons, and having hot coffee, eggs, bags of garbage, lit cigarettes and even an office printer thrown at them.

Some officers described fearing for their lives when they were followed and blocked in by angry motorists.

In more than one case, attackers punched officers’ closed car windows while the officers frantically radioed for police assistance.

Several reports alleged that drivers attempted to hit officers while they were out of their vehicles.

In a surprising number of cases, it’s not ticketed motorists but pedestrians or bystanders who verbally and physically attack unsuspecting parking officers.

In about 10 per cent of cases, various types of assault or attempted assault are reported.

In one especially violent case June 30, 2011, an officer reported that he was talking to several parking-meter technicians on East Broadway when a man walking by said, “Why don’t you get back to work, you f---ing squids.”

“I said, ‘You get back to work, you squid,’” the officer writes.

“We were face to face, words were exchanged. He threw a right punch fist that hit my left eye. I defended myself with punches. I grabbed his hair, and he used his thumb to gouge my left eye. . . . A passing cop stopped and broke us up.”

It appears the bylaw officer involved in the brawl also filed about four additional physical conflicts reports.

An Oct. 30, 2011, incident report suggests that officer was advised by a supervisor “when it would be beneficial to disengage and cautioned when to issue another violation that may escalate a situation.”

‘ABUSIVE’ DRIVERS IN DATABASE

Within incident reports, officers can recommend flagging “abusive” drivers in a parking enforcement database.

An “abusive” driver warning can be accessed by officers when they punch in licence plates on the hand-held computer devices they carry. There have been 147 individual drivers flagged “abusive” in the computer system since 2009, according to city records.

In some cases, bylaw officers file Workers Compensation Board injury claims following incidents.

Incident reports don’t indicate whether compensation claims are successful, or whether bylaw officers are disciplined for their actions or judgment.

Those records could not be released, according to the City of Vancouver. A union representative did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Many of the parking-ticket incident reports show police responding to protect bylaw officers, and often police files are opened and some citizen arrests were reported.

POLICE GET NASTY

However, in two cases, according to incident reports, it was police officers engaged in conflicts with bylaw officers.

In an October 2011 case, a parking bylaw officer alleges a “criminal assault by threat,” made by an undercover officer. The alleged incident happened on Ash Street, about a block from the Vancouver Police Department’s Cambie Street headquarters.

After ticketing an unmarked police car parked in a “no stopping” sign area, the bylaw officer alleges a sergeant approached him, flashed his badge, said, “We work for the same boss,” and asked him to cancel the ticket.

“I said I could not take back the ticket,” the bylaw officer claimed. “He said, ‘You have just signed your death certificate.’”

In a January 2012 case, an off-duty police officer who was ticketed allegedly said: “Thanks for the professional courtesy. Just remember, next time you guys need us, we won’t be there for you.”

Vancouver police did not respond to a request for more information on the alleged incidents.

Although the majority of incident reports indicate serious and harrowing ordeals for enforcement officers, one case stands out for sheer bizarreness.

In that case, an officer reported that she perceived an office printer had been thrown near her while she issued a ticket, before it was driven over by a passing car.

But when the stunned officer looked toward the side of the street from which the printer seemed to have come, she “only observed an elderly lady with a walker.”



PARKING REVENUE GROWING

Money collected from parking meters and parking tickets is a major and rising source of revenue for the City of Vancouver.

In 2012, $39.5 million was raised from street parking meters, with the take projected to increase to $40.7 million in 2013.

In 2012, 301,478 parking tickets were issued, for a total value of $24.8 million in parking tickets.

Money actually collected from fined motorists started trending above $17 million per year in 2011, apparently due to the city’s new fine adjudication system, while the number of tickets issued has dropped.

In 2009, 443,199 tickets were issued and about $16 million was collected. In 2010, 418,038 were issued and about $17 million was collected, a freedom-of-information request by The Province showed.




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Old 03-24-2013, 02:49 PM   #2
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Looks like a great time to be a bylaw officer!
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
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Shifting the blame to everyone except yourself.......... that's the kind of sad society we live in.

When I get a ticket, I'm mad at myself for not spending the time to pay the meter.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:03 PM   #4
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Doesn't at all surprise me
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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people always refuse to take the blame and take out their anger on someone else.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:08 PM   #6
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I just consider it a $30 parking spot and move on.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:08 PM   #7
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time for Parking Wars... Vancouver edition!

And we can even get buster's on it too!
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:12 PM   #8
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I just swap plates haha
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:23 PM   #9
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I just swap plates haha
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Doesn't work with city bylaws
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:23 PM   #10
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I find it amusing and odd that it's the bystanders who are apparently the instigators. Dude, it's not your car, shrug it off and walk away. Besides, they're not all evil. Was at the downtown Wind location the other day and some dude had parked right in front and was getting his phone repaired. He was just about to get a ticket when he ran outside and explained to the officer that he was getting his phone fixed and he couldn't call in to add money to the meter. Quoth the officer "Alright, but if you're here when I'm back, you're getting a hefty fine". But he was done and gone in ten minutes. Problem solved.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:52 PM   #11
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Wow, we've uncovered that Vancouver is full of irate hicks, including police... What a surprise! (I'm being sarcastic)
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:53 PM   #12
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people always refuse to take the blame and take out their anger on someone else.
Reminds me of a CTV article I read a few days ago of a man who travelled to Mexico and let his son play games and watch YouTube videos on the internet. After he got his rather expensive cell phone bill, he blamed everything and everyone but himself for not being a responsible cell phone owner.

I very rarely get parking tickets and if I do, I know why I got them. I may think the pricing for parking is outrageous or that the area shouldn't be a paid parking area but I would never deny that I deserved a ticket.

That's like getting mad at a police officer for pulling you over for speeding...Were you speeding? Yes. Did you know speeding was against the law? Yes....so why are you so shocked and offended when you get the speeding ticket lol. #logic
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:02 PM   #13
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Lol you don't get a job like that not expecting abuse, it's not news to anyone. But at least they get compensated fairly IMO if not excessively. These officers always have a shitty attitude when on the job and in uniform, I would be too if you walked into a restaurant or coffee shop and everyone was giving you the stink eye, seen this happen many times.

I have tremendous respect for these officers and understand that someone has to do it but even then, when I see a officer heading down the sidewalk and I see a car with flashing 00:00 I will throw a dime or a quarter in there just so it won't get ticketed this pass around.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:25 PM   #14
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its your car! you are responsible for it. you decided to park in that spot...how can it be someone else fault?

its the officers fault for patrolling that area? com'on

and non-payment will lead to collections which will fuck with your credit rating. This aint impark or diamond parking
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:49 PM   #15
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So, where are the pics of the hot meter maids?


Edit: nvm........... just googled "hot meter maids" and LOLOLOLOL
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:59 PM   #16
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Time to repost the story of a lady who came in with four slashed tires. Put in an ICBC claim and we installed four new tires. She's back two weeks later and her new tires were also slashed. I always thought she must have pissed off someone to get targeted twice. A few months later I was going home after work and I saw her coming out of a house (I'm guessing it's where she lived).

She then proceeds to walk down the street and gets about three cars before she writes up a ticket. Smart move handing out tickets to people on the same block where you live.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:08 PM   #17
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i've lost count of how many parking tickets I have. Haven't paid a single one and never plan to.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:17 PM   #18
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I very rarely get parking tickets and if I do, I know why I got them. I may think the pricing for parking is outrageous or that the area shouldn't be a paid parking area but I would never deny that I deserved a ticket.
I don't think all people think they don't deserve a ticket. Some could have literally returned from shopping and missed the meter running out by two minutes. I think what pisses people off is when an attendant is anal about the time to the very second. If a ticket is entered into the system they can't take it back, but if you get to your car just before they enter it, then why do they feel the need to finish it off? That's just ignorant behavior. Anyone can run over time by a minute or two if they get stuck in a line-up at the store.

I think meters should have a reverse timer. Once time runs out, it starts counting down. That way if an attendant hits a meter and it's at -2 minutes when the owner shows up they know you actually did pay and just missed the deadline so they could cut you some slack. If the time goes past -10 minutes then too bad - you're getting the ticket regardless.

This would also immediately show the attendant the people who try and park for 2 minutes on an empty meter. You couldn't claim you paid for parking and were only two minutes late.

Would probably go a long way to reducing arguments and abuse.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:53 PM   #19
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I just consider it a $30 parking spot and move on.
Exactly, I usually pay it over the phone before I even leave the spot I got the ticket then my anger ends, it's done, over.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:05 PM   #20
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$30?!? I already made my $50 contribution this year!
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:08 PM   #21
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I don't think all people think they don't deserve a ticket. Some could have literally returned from shopping and missed the meter running out by two minutes. I think what pisses people off is when an attendant is anal about the time to the very second. If a ticket is entered into the system they can't take it back, but if you get to your car just before they enter it, then why do they feel the need to finish it off? That's just ignorant behavior. Anyone can run over time by a minute or two if they get stuck in a line-up at the store.

I think meters should have a reverse timer. Once time runs out, it starts counting down. That way if an attendant hits a meter and it's at -2 minutes when the owner shows up they know you actually did pay and just missed the deadline so they could cut you some slack. If the time goes past -10 minutes then too bad - you're getting the ticket regardless.

This would also immediately show the attendant the people who try and park for 2 minutes on an empty meter. You couldn't claim you paid for parking and were only two minutes late.

Would probably go a long way to reducing arguments and abuse.
Good point but I honestly think that this scenario is rarer than you think it is.

Besides, cutting some slack means that we're acknowledging and asking for extra time. Why can't you just leave 2 minutes earlier to go add time to your meter? Also, keep in mind, just because your meter is expired doesn't mean you automatically have a ticket coming to you. Generally speaking, unless the parking officer is right there in front of your meter, you have the leeway period of time it takes for the parking officer to reach your meter...

Most modern meters are also accessible over the phone...we really don't need any reform for parking meters imo lol but to each their own. It's a pretty simple responsibility.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:13 PM   #22
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^ I got to my car three minutes late at Broadway and Trafalgar(730pm ish). No cars around me except mine and I got a ticket. No parking guy seen, but he dialed my license plate wrong

One time I got a collection letter for my beetle from city of Burnaby, they didn't include make/time so I called them up. They said the car on record was a jeep Cherokee... I was like don't you check with icbc records.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:03 PM   #23
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I consider meter maids to be failures in life cause they cant get a better job, like a real police officer, or a border guard.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:05 PM   #24
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I don't get why US and Canada don't adapt the system I saw in Taipei. It would help to reduce the aggression toward officers so much.

The system works like this... You don't pre-paid for parking, someone would come around with a printed tab that's marked with 30min slots. The officers simply come by to stamp additional slots as time passes. When you are done parking, you take the tab, leave and pay it at any 7-11. If you don't pay for certain days, then the parking fee becomes more and more expensive. So, people are motivated to pay it ASAP.

And for places where parking is prohibited, they have actual police issuing tickets/towing.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:07 PM   #25
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I consider meter maids to be failures in life cause they cant get a better job, like a real police officer, or a border guard.
...............and you are what again?




nvm.......... username




sorry, could not resist.
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