TRAFFIC wardens will be armed with body-worn cameras as attacks on officers increase, if new plans are given the go-ahead.

Test Valley Borough Council are in talks to arm wardens with recording devices in a bid to stop assaults by angry motorists.

Last year there were 11 “violent incidents” against officers including verbal and physical intimidation, threats of violence, inciting hate against officers via social media and physical assaults.

This was a rise from 2015 and 2016 when five attacks were reported.

And in the period from August 2017 to February 2018 wardens logged 62 incidents of antisocial behaviour directed towards them in addition to those reported as a violent incident.

Planning and transport portfolio holder, Councillor Nick Adams-King, said: “Over the past few years, and in particular during 2017, we have noticed a significant increase in the number of incidents of both verbal and physical aggression towards our parking civil enforcement officers (CEOs).

“We have a responsibility for the health, safety and welfare of our staff and it is also important that we ensure our CEOs respond appropriately in difficult situations.”

The council is only one of two local authorities in Hampshire, the other being New Forest District Council, that does not currently provide its traffic wardens with body cameras.

Cllr Adams-King added: “Evidence from other local authorities already using body cameras shows that they have had a significant impact on reducing abuse and aggression.”

For officers to be awarded cameras the council will first need to undertake a privacy impact assessment to ensure that the use of the cameras takes into account the effect on individuals and their privacy.

This will involve a public consultation which has been launched council’s website and asks for views on the idea.

Cllr Adams-King added: “We would encourage the public to contact us with their feedback.”