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Last Updated: Friday, 24 December, 2004, 17:46 GMT
Traffic wardens' compassion plea
Traffic warden
Traffic wardens in Gloucestershire have been attacked by motorists
Traffic wardens in Gloucestershire are pleading with members of the public to be nice to them this Christmas.

In recent months wardens have been physically and verbally abused and had stones and tomatoes thrown at them.

Now the force has appealed for people to show some seasonal compassion when coming into contact with them.

Ch Insp David Peake said: "They have a thankless task but we hope the public will treat them with the respect they deserve, especially at Christmas."

He added: "Our traffic wardens work extremely hard year round - they are an essential service and we value them highly.

"Their job brings them into contact with the public every day and while many people are perfectly civil and courteous, a minority seem to take pleasure in abusing the wardens."

One traffic warden, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "I have been spat at and physically assaulted.

"People really don't understand that we are just doing the job we are paid to do.

"We don't set out to victimise people, we just enforce the law, and issuing parking tickets is not all we do - we also offer advice, give directions and provide first aid.

"We just wish people would treat us with the same respect we show them."

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