Police and schools join forces for parking campaign

Police and pupils encourage parents to park responsibly outside Langham Primary School. PC Laurie Appleton with junior road safety officers Oliver Appleton, Ellie Brentnall and James Cockerill, and Ian Fraser. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-08-06-15-aw002 EMN-150906-115738001

Police and pupils encourage parents to park responsibly outside Langham Primary School. PC Laurie Appleton with junior road safety officers Oliver Appleton, Ellie Brentnall and James Cockerill, and Ian Fraser. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-08-06-15-aw002 EMN-150906-115738001

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Police are working with Rutland’s schools to encourage parents and residents to think about where they park.

Officers are taking specially-made signs around the county to try to raise awareness of the importance of parking safely around schools.

The signs, bearing the message “Think before you park - you could endanger a child’s life” are being used in the mornings and afternoons when parking problems are most common.

They are also involving pupils in the scheme so the message is spread even further.

PC Laurie Appleton was in Langham working with the village school’s junior safety officers on Monday. He said: “We’re trying to educate parents and residents about safe parking.

“It’s mostly to do with inconsiderate parking at peak times. Concerns can come from the schools themselves, from local residents trying to go about their normal life and occasionally from parents who point out regular offenders.”

Rutland County Council controls parking enforcement generally, although police can deal with people parking on zig-zag lines or parking dangerously.

PC Appleton said the problems were typically worst at the start of September, when several family members drop new starters off during their first couple of weeks at school.

Police hope to visit every school in Rutland, having already been to Cottesmore and Exton. So far the reception to their campaign has been largely positive.

PC Appleton said: “Generally if we have to speak to parents they are very apologetic. Once we explain the health and safety side, and that it’s their children and friends who are at risk, they are pretty good.

“They are not always thinking of the bigger picture.”

Officers hope to order more signs so they can leave them with as many schools as possible.

“The more signs that we get, the further our message can get,” said PC Appleton.