Plymouth Blog blog

Barber blacklisted for warning about traffic wardens

A Plymouth hairdresser has been ‘black-listed’ by Cornwall Council after authorities found out that he was warning illegally parked drivers when traffic wardens were approaching.

Andy Blackwell used a megaphone and a wailing siren sound to alert motorists when a traffic warden was giving out tickets outside his shop.

51 year old Mr Blackwell was trying to help drivers but he has angered parking officials.

He said: “They were putting a ticket on a car, which is fair dos, on a double yellow line and I said to the customers in the shop, ‘I’m just going to let everybody know’.

“It’s a little bit of fun letting everyone know the traffic wardens are here. Some people laugh about it and some people say, ‘thanks for warning me’.

“I decided to warn people to give them a fair chance to move their car and park somewhere proper.”

The council, however, did not see the funny side and wardens confronted him at the door of his shop.

“There were two of them booking a repeat offender it has to be said. So I decided to warn the public and went out with my loud hailer.

“I never threatened or cursed or swore or offended anybody as far as I was aware I was just having a bit of fun and doing a public service.”

The police then called at his hairdressing salon later that day.

He added: “They came within two or three hours. When I told them what had gone on they gave me plenty of advice and said be careful because the council take a dim view of this.”

Three days later he received a letter from Cornwall Council saying that he was now included on the council cautionary contacts list and other agencies would also be notified of his actions.

Mr Blackwell added: “I thought it was extreme especially the first part saying I’d verbally abused causing extreme distress to some of their employees.”

Cornwall County Council has said that the list is designed to protect their employees from harmful situations including physical assault and verbal abuse.

Cornwall Council said in a statement: “The cautionary contacts list is an internal system which aims to protect council staff from potentially harmful situations, including physical assault and verbal abuse. Many local authorities around the country have similar schemes in place. This information is only used within the council and is only available to those employees who may potentially be exposed to such risks.”

Mr Blackwell’s place on the list will be reviewed every year. The hairdresser has said that he does not wish to further antagonise the council but said that he would still let his customers use the megaphone if they wish.

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