Lower Hutt parking wardens have experienced a drastic drop in aggressive incidents since they started wearing body cameras.

Prior to the on-body video cameras being introduced in 2015, wardens in the city had been subjected to assaults and threats, and had even had knives pulled on them while issuing tickets.

In the four years before, there were three physical assaults, two cases of knives being presented at wardens, two incidents of threatening to kill, and multiple instances of abusive and threatening behaviour, according to the Hutt City Council.

Since the introduction of the cameras there has been no physical assaults, no knives being presented at wardens and just one instance of pushing.


Parking services manager Barry Rippon said general abusive behaviour had also decreased thanks to the cameras, which were used as a deterrent.

"Any rational person, if they know their behaviour isn't good and they know somebody might regurgitate that, they're not going to be very happy, are they?" he said.

Rippon said abuse against parking wardens was a "national thing" and parking services around the country have been rolling out safety measures for years.

First for Lower Hutt it was radios that connected direct to council, fitted with GPS transmitters "so that in the event that they pushed a panic button or called us or can't get back to us, we know their last known location".

Council also carries out "welfare checks" to make sure their wardens are safe and happy as they do their jobs.

Wardens have also been given "de-escalation training" to help them deal with aggressive motorists.

The cameras were the latest measure, and also come with identification on the wardens' uniforms showing they are "audio visual equipped".

"It's not just the cameras, it's the whole package."


Rippon said it was only a small section of the public that actually became abusive with wardens, pointing to an annual survey showing more than 90 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the level of parking enforcement in the city.

"It's a tough job. People who want to be parking wardens have to have a reasonable deal of moral fortitude, it's not an easy job."

But Rippon said all of his staff enjoyed their work and knew it was a job that needed to be done.

"If you were to take parking wardens away ... the moment the word got around that you could park anywhere and there was no consequences you would end up with a shambles, an absolute shambles, and you would have a hell of a time pulling it back to where it was."

Last year a Wellington parking warden was knocked unconscious and suffered a fractured eye socket when Rawiri James Emery attacked him outside a primary school.

Emery found the victim putting a ticket on his car outside Newtown School and punched him in the side of the face, also breaking his nose.

The victim had to have reconstructive surgery.

Other incidents include an Auckland parking officer being beaten and left with a fractured rib and a partially collapsed lung and another warden in Timaru being shot with a BB gun.