Lollipop Patrollers Verbally Abused

Police are getting involved in an operation to stop lollipop men and women across Hampshire getting shouted and sworn at.

In recent months, there has been a number of incidents involving drivers speaking aggressively to, and swearing at, school crossing patrollers while they are carrying out their duty to ensure children and adults get across the road safely. 

Councillor Mel Kendal, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at the County Council said: "It's appalling to hear reports of verbal abuse in any situation but particularly so when those targeted are members of staff doing their job in helping to keep people safe as they walk to and from school. 

"Thankfully the majority of drivers are courteous and stop when requested but there are those who seem to think it is acceptable to take out their frustrations on the County Council's staff and worse still, through their inconsiderate actions, these drivers are potentially putting young lives at risk.

"This behaviour is unacceptable and we are appealing to all road users who find themselves in a hurry and frustrated by busy rush hour traffic to be patient and remain calm. Failing to stop when requested, or losing your patience and abusing a County Council employee, could lead to prosecution."

Drivers are legally obliged to obey signals and signs used by School Crossing Patrols (Road Traffic Act 1988, section 35). Drivers who are prosecuted could face a fine of up to £1,000 and three penalty points on their licence. 

Inspector Jon Snook, from Hampshire Constabulary, commented: "School crossing patrols provide an invaluable service escorting children across busy roads to school safely. For these men and women to be abused, intimidated or assaulted in this manner, and in front of young children, is simply unacceptable. 

"We will not tolerate any incidents of aggression and intimidation, especially when the victim is simply trying to do their job. "The police will deal with all such offences involving school crossing patrols and anyone assaulting patrols could be arrested and placed before the court."