Item 7.2 - Attachment 2
Parking Enforcement Policy
· Policy statement
· Parking Enforcement Practices
· Parking Programs
· Process of Appeal
CEO means chief executive officer
Councillor means an elected member of council
Probity means uprightness and honesty
LGA means Local Government Area
Appeal means make an earnest or formal request
Illegal means not legal, contrary to law.
Enforcement means the act or an instance of enforcing.
Current Legislation means The Road Rules 2008 and section 650 of The Local Government Act 1993 (Free parking)
Authorised Officer means a) a police officer, or b) a person who is appointed by the Authority as an authorised officer for the purposes of the provision in which the expression is used
Parking area means a length of road or area designed for parking vehicles.
Parking control sign means any sign described in the Road Rules 2008 for the purpose of controlling parking conditions
Parking meter has the same meaning as in the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 1999.
Pay parking area means:
(a) a coupon parking area, or
(b) a metered parking area, or
(c) a ticket parking area.
Parking permit for people with disabilities means:
(a) a mobility parking scheme authority, or
(b) any other permit issued under the law of
another jurisdiction that includes a people with disabilities symbol. (
Red zone means: Parking signs that are red with white writing or white signs with Symbols, these signs are used in high risk areas and include; No Stopping No Parking and bus zones . Details of these signs can be found under the road rules 2008.
School zone means:
a) if there is a school zone sign and an end school zone sign, or a speed limit sign with a different number on the sign, on a road and there is no intersection on the length of road between the signs—that length of road; or
b) if there is a school zone sign on a road that ends in a dead end and there is no intersection, nor a sign mentioned in paragraph (a), on the length of road beginning at the sign and ending at the dead end—that length of road.
As the City of
Parramatta City Council is dedicated to working with our stakeholders to ensure the long term strategic management of the current and future traffic flow within of our city. One example of this commitment is the free Loop Shuttle Service to convey people around the Parramatta Central Business District and thus alleviate the need for users to drive and find parking.
This policy seeks to achieve and maintain a minimum standard for the operational, duties, functions and responsibilities of each individual officer of Ranger Services. The overall aim is for each officer to achieve the highest possible standard of operation and presentation reflecting Council Code of Conduct, expectations for excellent customer service with a consistent and professional approach.
This document is a tool which will be used to assist Council officers in their daily duties and it is expected that all officers will act professionally, with courtesy and honestly and within their powers of delegation at all times to uphold Councils Guiding Principles.
Council has a regulatory obligation to enforce parking related legislation and to manage public safety and traffic flow in accordance with the relevant legislation;
1. The Road Rules 2008
2. The Road Transport (General) Act 2005
3. Road Transport (General) Regulations 2005
4. Local Government Act 1993 (Section 650 Council free parking)
The actions set out in this policy to enforce parking and vehicle turnover include a variety of methods such as, educational, written warnings and the issuing of infringement notices, reporting of misuse of mobility parking permits. All council staff must comply with the relevant parking restrictions whilst performing their duties and Council does not use covert measures to detect parking infringements.
The aim of this policy is to establish clear and lawful guidelines:
v in the enforcement of parking restriction to ensure consistent application of the law,
v in the process in which representations for penalty notices issued for parking offences are to be reviewed,
v to document enforcement practices utilised by Parking Patrol Officers/Rangers to detect illegal parking offences,
v to set general standards of behaviour of staff involved in parking enforcement
v to provide an overview of parking enforcement/current legislation and why it is important that all road users obey the road rules.
Parking Enforcement Practices
Efficient and effective parking regulation relies heavily on systematic presence by officers. Consistency in enforcement application is the key component in an effective service. Council officers are required to use a number of methods to manage parking and the related legislation, they include; education, warnings, cautions, confiscation of permits, issuing of PIN’s and submission of reports to the RTA.
Where an officer observes a vehicle parked in an illegal and or dangerous position, the officer is to issue a penalty notice and if possible locate the driver and instruct them to move the vehicle immediately. Vehicles parked illegally in a red zone or school zone will not be afforded any discretion when a clear offence has been committed, as illegal parking in these high risk areas may place a member of the public in danger or adversely affect the flow of traffic.
The issuing officer may not cancel a lawfully issued penalty notice once the officer has commenced recording details on the notice.
The onus to comply with current parking rules and regulations lies solely with each driver of a motor vehicle in NSW.
Parking Patrol officers undertake high visibility and low visibility surveillance to ensure compliance with the relevant legislation. Covert operations will only be conducted when a report has been submitted to the Council and approval has been given by the Council.
Covert operations – Covert operations will only be conducted with the approval of the Council.
High visibility – Officers are clearly visible in full uniform on the street to all motorists.
Low visibility – Officers may use a marked identified Council vehicle and all staff must be in full uniform observing and recording illegal parking offences. This includes programmed patrols and mobile patrols. All officers observing and recording illegal parking offences must be in full uniform and comply with the relevant road rules at all times.
Note: mobile vehicle patrols require two officers, one to record all relevant information and one to concentrate solely on driving safely.
The procedures and work practices utilised by Parking Patrol officers are set out in the Ranger Services Standard Operating Procedures 2008 (appendix E). In relation to this policy the following form part of Policy and Procedures
a) Officers to be appropriately attired in full uniform when conducting parking patrols.
b) Infringement notifications issued and placed on offending vehicles (if external to a cover) during wet weather shall be encased inside waterproof jackets to avoid deterioration and sufficient motorist notification.
c) No officer shall chalk the outside wall of a tyre to determine breaches of the time restriction. All chalking shall occur on the tread of the tyre.
d) Infringements are not to be issued unless all signs are clear and visible
e) All tyres are inflated.
f) A 10 minute courtesy to time is given to restrictions exceeding 15 minutes. In the case of 5 minute parking areas a courtesy of 5 minutes applies.
g) In parking meter areas, officers must ensure that the meter is functional and a 10 minute courtesy period is applied for expired tickets
Taking of Photographs
To ensure that appropriate evidence is collected officers are permitted to take photographs of vehicles where they intend to issue a Penalty infringement. Photos should be taken first and then the details of the offence and vehicle recorded to issue the Penalty notice.
Copies of photographs may be obtained by the person to whom the infringement is issued, subject to payment of the relevant fee.
Where possible the officer should attempt to issue the fine on the vehicle or relevant person. The Penalty Notice may be sent via the post to the vehicle owner under the following circumstances;
1. The officer observes a vehicle stop and illegally park in a red zone and then drives away.
2. The officer can not find a legal parking space to stop and issue the penalty notice.
3. For reasons of officer safety.
4. Weather conditions.
Upon their appointment each officer is required to read, understand and comply with Parramatta City Councils Code of Conduct and the Ranger Services, Standard Operating Procedures.
Ranger services staff are to be courteous, polite, fair and equitable, diligent and above reproach at all times.
Ranger Services staff are to remember that if there is any doubt as to wether an offence has been committed or not, a penalty notice is not to be issued.
Ranger services staff are to at all times observe and obey the relevant road rules except in cases where the officer can clearly demonstrate they stopped for a lawful reason of emergency or it was necessary in the interest of public safety.
Whilst it is accepted that people do at times become upset with receiving a penalty notice for an illegal parking offence, at no time is it acceptable for vehicle drivers to verbally abuse, threaten or assault council officers. Any type of this anti social behaviour will be reported immediately to Parramatta Police.
All Ranger Services staff are continuously reminded that they are to at all time to act as ambassadors for our organisation and the community we serve.
In addition to patrolling on street and off street parking areas, Council officers also run several programs to target specific illegal parking behaviour, the methods of monitoring parking breaches include;
Mobility Parking Scheme Program – To manage mobility parking and to stop the miss use of MP permits by other people.
School Safety Program – To ensure people do not park illegally in school zones to ensure the safety of children.
Complaint based Program - To investigate all parking related complaints
See Appendix “parking enforcement guidelines for programs”
There are 2 methods to seek a review to the penalty infringement notices:
Representations in regards to penalty notices issued by council officers may be directed to the State Debt Recovery Office, which is an independent body. The postal address for the SDRO is as follows,
State Debt Recovery Office
Using their guidelines the SDRO will adjudicate on the issues raised and if additional information is required they will contact the issuing authority to ensure clarity. Once the review is complete the SDRO will advise the client of the outcome of their findings in writing. If it is found that the penalty notice was lawfully issued the client is advised that the penalty is to stand and that the following options apply,
1. Pay the penalty notice
2. Elect to have the matter heard in court before an impartial magistrate
The SDRO guidelines can be viewed on line at www.sdro.nsw.gov.au
Representations may be made directly to the Council accompanied with an administration fee, where they will be reviewed by the Adjudication Panel.
The Adjudication Panel is to consist of a minimum of three persons that
have been selected by the
· One specialist
· One independent
· One senior manager
Factors to be considered in the review by the Adjudication Panel:
· Was the infringement issued lawfully
· Was the infringement issued consistent with this Policy
· Are there any extenuating personal circumstances, such as ill health
Each member of the review committee is to remain impartial at all times and in compliance with relevant legislation/ council policies.’
As of September 2008 the current legislation/regulations that govern vehicle parking are as follows,
The Road Rules 2008
The Road Transport (General) Act 2005
Road Transport (General) Regulations 2005
Local Government Act 1993 (Section 650 Council free parking)
The are several Web sites that can be accessed to view the above Legislation/Regulations. One site that is utilized by council officers is www.legislation.nsw.gov.au Once you have accessed the site simply use your computer mouse to click on browse and then select which act or regulation you wish to view. Alternatively you can access the RTA at www.rta.nsw.gov.au
Parking Infringement Revenue
Revenue derived from enforcement is the result of council’s obligation to undertake this regulatory function. Parramatta City Councils annual report provides an end of year statement in regards to the total revenue received for parking related penalty notices.
Road Rules 2008, Local Government Act 1993 (Section 650 Council free parking) Ranger Standard Operating Procedures 2008
Council code of conduct
Standard operation hours
Parking enforcement guidelines for programs
Guidelines for discretion, warnings and issuing of PINs
Relevant Extracts from the Ranger Services Standard Operating Procedures
Hours of Operation
hours of operation for the Parking Patrol Officers are Monday to Friday. In addition to these
core hours a small team of Parking Patrol Officers work in the
1. Monday 10am to 7pm
2. Tuesday 10am to 7pm
3. Wednesday 11am to 8pm
4. Thursday 1pm to 10pm
5. Friday 1pm to 10pm
6. Saturday 8am to 5pm
7. Saturday 1pm to 10pm
At times Parking Patrol Officers are rostered to work outside of the above listed times to manage illegal parking at special events, respond to specific community complaints and assist in joint operations with the NSW Police Service.
It must be noted that whilst on street parking enforcement was transferred from the NSW Police Service to Local Government 2002, all NSW Police officers are authorised to issue penalty notices under the Road Rules 2008 and as such complaints outside of Councils hours of operation may be referred to the Local Area Command for investigation/action.
Parking enforcement guidelines for programs
1. Mobility Parking Scheme Program.
The aim of
this program is to stamp out the misuse by certain motorists who use another
1. Complete an RTA report of the incident
a penalty notice to the person using the
3. Post the completed report and a copy of the penalty notice to the RTA fraud unit by express post.
Mobility Parking Programmes may be conducted at times in conjunction with the RTA. During these joint operations the RTA officers only may confiscate permits.
2. School Safety Program
The aim of
this program is to ensure that vehicle drivers do not park illegally in school zones within the
Council officers utilize a combination of high and low visibility enforcement practices when patrolling school zones.
3 Complaint based programme.
This programme is a continuous programme resulting from complaints received by Council regarding parking related matters. Council officers will investigate all complaints and take the relevant action that will include but not limited to the issuing of warnings and issuing of PINs.
Complaints are mainly received from residential areas of the city and include issues such as truck and general parking issues, driveway and footpath obstructions. When a complaint is received Council staff will undertake an inspection to determine the appropriate course of action. At times they will identify other breaches occurring that they will need to investigate and enforce.
A regular issue that arises is the obstruction of footpath areas and as a general guide the following is provided as an attachment to the policy as a guide to assist staff to manage this issue in a fair and equitable manner.
Parking on nature strips in streets with rollback kerb and gutter
Under the provisions of the Road Rules 2008 it is an offence for the driver of a vehicle to stop on a path/strip in a built up area unless there are permissible parking signs or a hard bay surface constructed for the purpose of vehicle parking.
Whilst it is a requirement that vehicle drivers are to comply with the above mentioned Road Rules, consideration must also be given to the issue of the number of suburban streets within the Parramatta LGA where the road surface has been reduced in width and additional kerbing installed such as rollback kerbs.
It is Parramatta City Councils policy that in enforcing the Road Rules in these situations no action will be taken in relation to vehicles which park parallel to the road/kerb in the direction of travel in streets that have had the footpath area increased and the road areas decreased such as areas with rollback kerbing installed. . The vehicles must not interfere with the general use of the footpath area, obstruct sight lines for vehicles using the roadway or cause damage to Council infrastructure which includes the kerb, footpath area and underground services.
Discretion regarding parking on footpaths is mainly used in areas with rollback kerbs installed by Council as they clearly define areas with readily available access. Officer may utilise this same discretion in other residential areas were footpaths areas have been increased in width and the road area reduced.
See the following diagram for examples, where a vehicle is found to be parked not in the manner depicted in the diagram a penalty notice may be issued. (ie the vehicles marked with a “cross”)
Representations may be made directly to the Council, where they will be reviewed by the Adjudication Panel.
The Adjudication Panel is to consist of a minimum of three persons that
have been selected by the
· One specialist
· One independent
· One senior manager
Each member of the review committee is to remain impartial at all times and in compliance with relevant legislation/ council policies.
The adjudication panel will be rotated on a regular basis with one member being rotated at any one time to ensure probity and consistency within the panel.
The panel should complete all reviews within 7 working days of being notified.
The panel members must provide individual reasonable time to resource the needs of the panel to ensure all time frames are adhered to.
The panel may request additional details or evidence from the person seeking the review to enable the panel to determine the review. Where the request has not been complied with in the required time frame, the panel may determine the matter on the available information.
Factors to be considered in the review by the Adjudication Panel:
· Was the infringement issued lawfully
· Was the infringement issued consistent with this Policy
· The nature of the offence
· Type of penalty imposed
· Any mitigating or extenuating circumstances;
· Has the matter already been adjudicated by the IPB
· Has Council already adjudicated on the matter as a request from the IPB
The panel must ensure a response has been forwarded to all parties in writing of the result of the review.
The panel must record all reviews in Council database (Trim).
matters will be heard once by the panel and all other representations must be
made by the respondent having the matter heard at Court.
Guidelines for discretion, warnings and issuing of PINs
Generally the disregard of parking restrictions/regulations by motorists particularly in problem areas should attract a penalty deterrent. However in some circumstances it may be prudent for an authorised officer to utilise discretion by issuing a printed caution or verbal caution and directing the driver to move on.
Some examples of the use of discretion are as follows,
· A driver returns to their vehicle as a council officer is about to issue a penalty notice for over staying the sign posted time limit. The officer is to use their discretion to issue a caution and instruct the person to move the vehicle.
· A council officer observes a vehicle double parked not in a dangerous position, a red zone or not obstructing traffic. The officer is to use their discretion to issue a caution and instruct the driver to move on.
· A driver returns to their vehicle as a council officer is about to issue a penalty notice for parking on a path/strip. The officer is to issue a caution and instruct the person to move the vehicle.
The above examples may be used in a variety of situations involving illegal parking except in circumstances
Whilst it is an expectation that authorised officers are to issue penalty notices for illegal parking offences, it is also essential that each officer employs good judgement in regards to educating the public about parking regulations
The introduction of hand held technology (PDA) will provide the means for authorised officers to issue a printed caution to vehicle drivers. The information contained on the caution, including offence and vehicle details will then be saved to the database. If a later date the vehicle is again found to be illegally parked the database should notify the attending officer of the caution/offence details. Warnings shall only be issued once to each vehicle in any one calendar year where they are electronically recorded. Any disputes relating to warning and the issuing of a penalty notice will be subject to the formal review process.
Standard Operating Procedures (Relevant extracts)
Guidelines have been set within this document which aims to achieve and maintain a minimum standard for the operation, duties, functions and responsibilities of each individual officer of Ranger Services whether they are corporate, business or individual obligations. Not withstanding the intent of this document, many of the principles and practices should be applied across all professionals within Regulatory units of Council.
They are guidelines that shall be followed in all but extenuating circumstances. All issues cannot be treated in the same fashion. Therefore these guidelines will not be hard and fast rules but will allow the discretionary application of alternatives by the officer in order to achieve the subsequent resolution of all situations in a satisfactory manner. The overall aim is for each officer to achieve the highest possible standard of operation and presentation reflecting consistency and the professionalism of the unit as a whole.
The onus is on the officer to utilise his/her authority as delegated with the knowledge provided by this document and the discretion brought about by an appreciation of the circumstances as dictated and an understanding of the need for a quality and timely end result.
Accordingly this document is a tool which will be used to assist officers in their assessment of a situation and its subsequent satisfactory resolution.
In general terms, every officer is expected to be completely familiar with these standard operating procedures. Each officer is accountable for his/her actions and shall strive to maintain a high standard. Where circumstances require variations from the procedures any actions should be confirmed with the Service Manager Ranger Services or Supervisors prior to being put into effect or where this is not possible immediately following.
It is expected that officers will at all times act with courtesy, honesty and within their powers of delegation. Officers must attempt to gain the voluntary cooperation of all persons involved and apply standards of reasonableness, common sense and good judgement whilst remaining fair and equal and maintaining the ability to make sound judgements and put in place effective actions.
No lesser standards will be accepted of any officer bound by these standard operating procedures. Each officer can assume that it is both his/her duty and responsibility to ensure compliance with them and that any failure to do so will be dealt with as a disciplinary matter resulting from neglect of duties.
Ethics is the code of moral and legal conduct expected of Parramatta City Council officers.
All officers are required to be professional in their approach to duties, and must always conduct themselves in an ethical and honest manner.
It is essential that officers have a code of ethics to regulate their behaviour in the pursuit of their duties. This code is regulated by legal obligation under various statutes.
Officers will not engage in any activity that will bring discredit upon themselves or Council.
A professional officer sets standards for others to follow.
a) Not permit personal views or prejudices to influence their attitude towards any person or duty required to be performed.
b) Respond to any reasonable request or lawful direction from Council.
c) Not commit any act, which constitutes dereliction of duty.
d) Not commit any act that brings Council into disrepute.
e) Not publicly criticise Council in any way, which is demeaning or defamatory, or in any manner that brings disrespect to Council.
f) Not obey any unlawful order, which is contrary to law.
g) Report any such unlawful order to the attention of an immediate supervisor.
h) Not solicit or receive any gift, gratuity, reward, fee, compensation or payment, which will compromise the officer in the execution of his/her duty.
i) Comply with Council’s Code of Conduct and associated Policies.
Officers shall obey all federal, state and local government laws and regulations and respond to all recognised agencies within their jurisdiction.
Parramatta City Council and the individual Officer can be held liable for the actions or otherwise of an officer in the conduct or failure to conduct his/her duties and responsibilities. Where in the conduct of those duties the officer has failed to identify or notify all relevant standards, conditions, and the like or has wrongly indicated that the situation, standard or condition is appropriate, he/she may be held professionally liable or negligent by a person who has been detrimentally affected by that decision, indecision, action or inaction.
Whether the officer has been found to be remiss in the application of his/her duties and responsibilities for any given situation under common law, the officer may be found to have been negligent for any foreseeable situation. The Council may also be liable under these circumstances and in the past officers have been individually protected by the fact that they were acting on behalf of the Council.
Numerous other pieces of legislation may provide the officer with a statutory responsibility either as a professional officer or as an individual and under certain circumstances both the employer and the employee may be held responsible for inappropriate, insufficient or inaccurate advice given, action taken, assessments made, or a failure to act, advise or assess. This responsibility is particularly represented in environmental legislation such as the Protection of the Environment Operations Act of 1997.
It is a requirement of all officers whether or not performing a regulatory function to avail themselves and practice both legal and professional responsibilities.
The Protection of the Environment Operations Act of 1997 requires organisations and individuals to take reasonable precautions and exercise “due diligence” to prevent harm to the environment. Offences under the Act can attract large fines.
In general terms, due diligence means the prior consideration by individuals of their actions which may be potentially harmful to the environment, and taking appropriate steps to avoid or reduce environmental harm.
Protection of the environment by an organisation is the lawful responsibility of every employee, director or manager.
The Protection of the Environment Operations
Act of 1997 does not define the meaning of “due
diligence”. Justice Hemmings of the
“a person must exercise such care, skill, and foresight that would be expected of a reasonable person in that situation.”
Once an individual or corporation is found to have committed an offence for which due diligence is a defence, the onus is on the accused to prove “due diligence” and must be able to satisfy the court that:
a) the contravention occurred without the person’s actual, imputed or constructive knowledge, or
b) the person was not in a position to influence the conduct of the corporation in relation to its contravention, or
c) the person used all due diligence to prevent the contravention.
For practical purposes the simplest way to understand “Due Diligence” is that it is the opposite of “Negligence”.
The principles of due diligence are:
a) The provision of proper and suitable management and technical systems for ensuring compliance with environmental legislation.
b) The provision of adequate management supervision and control of the systems.
All officers must be mindful of the fact that he/she is an ambassador of Parramatta City Council, who is constantly under the scrutiny of clients, staff and the public.
Individual appearances reflect upon Council.
Officers must always present a well-groomed appearance with clothing and footwear being presentable.
Male officers when reporting for duty shall be clean shaven.
All officers ate to refrain from wearing facial/ear piercings (OH&S).
Enforcement officers are issued with uniforms, and must be properly attired when commencing duty. All uniforms must be clean and pressed.
Officers must maintain their uniforms appropriately.
Uniforms are the property of the Council and are to be returned upon termination of service.
Uniforms will be issued or replaced upon application to the Supervisors of Ranger Services.
Uniforms must be worn in accordance with the directions issued by the Service Manager Ranger Services/Unit Manager/Group Manager and the CEO.
All officers are required to be courteous and conduct themselves in a professional manner.
They must reply to internal and external customer inquiries in a prompt and polite manner.
If unable to provide a service or supply the information required the officer should refer the customer to the person or business unit from whom the information may be obtained.
All officers must:
a) not report for duty under the influence of alcohol or any unlawful narcotic.
b) not drink any alcohol or take any unlawful narcotic whilst on duty.
c) not engage in any illegal activity.
d) not conduct any private business during working hours.
e) not wear a uniform or any clothing which distinguishes that officer as a member of Parramatta City Council whilst not on official duties (Includes Lunch break).
f) not smoke in public view or in any area of Council designated “smoke free”.
g) shall not commit any act which is considered insubordinate, such as use any language or physical action which is threatening, disrespectful or abusive.
h) fail or refuse to report any action taken by themselves to Council.
Officers are not permitted to enter premises where alcohol is sold or consumed wearing an identifiable Council uniform unless that officer is operating in an official capacity.
Officers shall not disclose information concerning Council; its officers or its employees to any person not entitled to receive such information.
Officers identification certificates, cards and badges will not be used in a manner to give belief to other persons that the holder is a member of the Police force, or has authority where this is not the case and must not be used to gain any gift or any reward or benefit.
Officers are not permitted to engage in secondary employment, which may be considered a conflict of interest to Council, or engage in any other enforcement activities without the consent of the CEO.
Officers are not permitted to engage in local activities whether or not a resident of Parramatta which may be considered or perceived to be a conflict of interest to Council or the individual, without the consent of the CEO. Where the officer is not sure he/she should consult with the Service Manager or Unit Manager.
a) Members and staff shall ensure that there is no conflict or incompatibility between their personal interests and the impartial fulfilment of their public or professional duties.
b) Staff shall not knowingly engage in private work with or for any person or body with an interest in a proposed or current dealing with the Council, without firs making disclosure to the General Manager. In this respect, it does not matter whether advantage is in fact obtained, as any appearance that private dealings could conflict with performance of public duties must be scrupulously avoided.
c) Staff shall notify the General Manager prior to undertaking a dealing in land in the area of the Council (other than purchasing or selling the principal place of residence), and shall obtain written approval from the General Manager prior to engaging in any outside employment or other business dealings that relate to the activities of the Council.
d) Staff who exercise a regulatory, inspectorial, recruitment or other discretionary function shall make disclosure before dealing with relatives or persons with whom they are closely associated and, whenever possible or in doubt, shall disqualify themselves from dealing with those persons.
e) If you have any doubts or are unsure about disclosures discuss your concerns with your manager.
a) Staff who have a direct or indirect financial interest in a matter to be considered by their Council (ie one in which there is a reasonable likelihood or expectation of an appreciable loss or gain) shall not take part in discussion or vote on the issue.
b) The onus is on members and staff to identify conflicts of interest or pecuniary interests, which they may have, and to determine whether any of the statutory exemptions apply.
Disclosure of Interest
a) Members and appropriate staff shall disclose, in a written return or at the relevant meeting, the interests who might be in conflict with their public or professional duties (as specified in the Local Government Act 1993).
b) Whenever disclosure is required by the law, recommended in this Code, or otherwise seems appropriate, it should be made promptly, fully and in writing (or in cases of urgency made orally and confirmed in writing) and both the disclosure and nature of the interest should be recorded in Council Minutes.
Use of confidential information
Members and staff must never use confidential Council information to gain advantage for themselves or for any other person or body; in ways which are inconsistent with their obligation to act impartially; or improperly to cause harm or detriment to any person, body or their Council.
Improper or Undue Influence
Members and staff shall not take advantage of their position to improperly influence other members or staff in the performance of their duties or functions, in order to gain undue or improper (direct or indirect) advantage or gain for themselves or for any other person or body.
Gifts and Bribery
Members and staff shall not seek or accept (directly or indirectly) from any person or body, any immediate or future gift, reward or benefit for themselves or for any other person or body, relating to their status with a Council, or their performance of any duty or work which touches or concerns the Council.
If any gift, reward or benefit or moderate acts of hospitality are offered, disclosure must be made immediately to the Service Manager or Manager Internal Audit & Review and complete gift register form.
Conduct of Members and Staff
Members and staff shall:
a) act properly and in accordance with the requirements of the law and the terms of this code;
b) perform their duties impartially and in the best interests of their communities, uninfluenced by fear or favour;
c) act in good faith (ie honestly, for the proper purpose, and without exceeding their powers) in the interests of the Council and the community;
d) make no allegations which are unseemly or derogatory unless true, in the public interest, and pertaining to the matter before the Council;
e) refrain from any form of conduct, in the performance of their official or professional duties, which may cause any reasonable person unwarranted offence or embarrassment;
f) always act in accordance with their obligation of fidelity to their Council;
g) observe the highest standards of honesty and integrity, and avoid conduct which might suggest any departure from these standards;
h) bring to the notice of the General Manager and/or Lord Mayor (as appropriate) any dishonesty on the part of any other members or staff; and
i) be frank and honest in their official dealings with each other.
j) Never disclose confidential information.
a) while on duty, give their whole time and attention to Council business and ensure that their work is carried out efficiently, economically and effectively, and that their standard of work reflects favourably both on them and on the Council;
b) obey lawful orders given by any persons having authority to make or give such order, with any doubts as to the propriety of any such orders being taken up with the superior of the person who gave the order and, if resolution can not be achieved, the General Manager; and
c) give effect to the lawful policies of their Councils, whether or not they agree with or approve of them.
Members and staff should ensure compliance with proper and reasonable administrative practices and standards of conduct, and professional and responsible management practices.
Use of Council Facilities, Funds, Staff and Equipment
Members and staff shall:
a) be honest in their use of Council facilities, funds, staff and equipment and shall not permit their misuse (or the appearance of misuse) by any other person or body;
b) use Council resources entrusted to them effectively and economically in the course of their duties, and not otherwise; and
c) not use Council resources, including the services of Council staff for private purposes (other than when supplied as part of a contract of employment), unless legally and properly authorised to do so, and payments are made where appropriate.
Travelling and Sustenance Expenses
Members and staff shall claim or accept travelling and sustenance expenses arising out of travel only on matters which have a direct bearing on Council business.
Staff will have access to relevant Council information sufficient for them to perform their duties and meet their responsibilities.
Communication with Community
Staff shall ensure that Council strives to communicate effectively with, and promote participation by all sections of their communities, in order to achieve proper accountability and responsibility.
Health, Well-Being and Safety
Staff shall ensure that their Council’s premises are adequate to ensure the health, safety and well being of their staff and members of the public.
Staff shall ensure that no restrictions are placed on the ability of staff to give professional advice to their Council.
Staff shall ensure that their Council impartially and properly assesses its own planning, development, building and subdivision proposals, consistent with the scope and standard of the normal assessment of private proposals or applications.
Every employee of Council is accountable for his/her actions, performance, carrying out of duties and responsibilities and compliance with corporate and business policy, objectives and tasks.
Accountability is making individuals responsible through a process of performance and task assessment. Reporting the results of these performs the feedback role required to assess performance and task relevant. It also enables reviews and incentives based on performance and productivity within the areas of responsibility and scope of the business and corporate terms of reference.
The Ranger Services Unit has an accountable reporting structure. All officers are directly accountable to their Service Manager. Staff within the Ranger Services unit report directly to their nominated supervisor.
Delegations are powers conferred on an officer by the General Manager to act for or on behalf of Council as its agent where Council has been delegated with those powers whether by legislation or by another authority.
An officer’s delegation is specific to him/her and outlines each piece of legislation for which an officer is to act as the Councils agent, being its employee. These delegations will outline the nature of the legislation and the intent to which the officer may act on behalf of Council under which relevant piece of legislation. The ability to act extends from the signing of the correspondence, to serving an order, powers of entry onto premises and includes being an authorised officer of Council.
a) An officer must never act outside his/her delegations.
b) Maintain his/her delegations in a secure position where they are unlikely to be damaged, lost or stolen. The officer is issued with the original document and these must not be altered.
c) Not under any circumstances hand to any other individual other than the Supevisor, Service Manager, Unit Manager or the General Manager or his nominated agent, all or any part of the delegations.
Every officer who is issued with delegations is a designated person under the Local Government Act of 1993 and as a result is required to disclose pecuniary interests in accordance with Section 442 and 443 of the Act. Section 445 states that a designated person is required to prepare and submit written returns of interest in accordance with Section 449 and must disclose pecuniary interests in accordance with Section 429. These returns are required to be completed and returned to Councils Public Officer within three (3) months after the 30th June each year.
The Public Officer will circulate the necessary forms within the given period to all relevant employees of Council.
Each officer who has delegations is issued with a Certificate of Authority. A Certificate of Authority is a certificate outlining that the person is an authorised officer under the provisions of the legislation for which the certificate has been issued. The powers of an authorised officer (the holder of a Certificate of Authority) are conferred by the legislation. This is different to delegations which are the more restrictive powers conferred on the officer by the General Manager / Council to perform all or part of the activities and responsibilities of an authorised officer as Councils employee / agent.
Your Certificate of Authority is your key to access premises and without it you cannot act. Failure to produce your written authority requested on entry to premises is an offence under the Local Government Act of 1993, which may incur a fine of up to $500.00.
a) At all times you must introduce yourself and produce your authority.
b) At no time shall you hand your authority to anyone. There has to be no question in the mind of the person you are dealing with as to who you are where you are from, who you represent and what you are doing there.
An authorised officer does not have the power to act on premises unless he has been given powers of entry, which can be found both within his/her delegations and the associated Certificate of Authority, if issued, and in accordance with relevant legislative provisions.
An officer who loses or has any identification certificate stolen shall immediately report the same to the Service Manager Ranger Services.
Other damaged or aged identification certificates may be replaced upon presentation to the Service Manager Ranger Services.
All items (radios, id cards, keys, badges, etc. issued to officers remain the property of Parramatta City Council and shall be returned immediately upon termination of employment. The Services Manager Ranger Services shall complete the Human Resources checklist and ensure all items issues from commencement of employment are returned.
Each enforcement officer is issued with an official duty book. It is each officer’s responsibility to ensure that the duty book is completed/updated on a daily basis.
Each notebook is to contain the following information -
ISSUED TO: (Officers name)
DATE COMMENCED: (Date of issue)
DATE COMPLETED: (Date of completion)
DATE: (Commencement of each shift)
COMMENCED DUT The actual time the officer starts duty
OFF DUTY: The actual time the officer ceased duty
ACTUAL DUTY: Events - This should be a brief but concise description on the investigations carried out on the day, in logical order, stating name (Witness/offender, address and conclusion/action taken)
STATISTICAL DATA: (Inspections, detected offences/ infringements issued and type)
SIGNATURE: Each officers is to sign off their official duty book (daily) and the Supervisors – Ranger Services (monthly)
Note: Duty books are an official recording mechanism and may be required to be produced in a court of law. Therefore, the duty book is not to be used for personal information.
All officers shall be required to submit their
duty books to their supervisor or Service Manager as required. Duty books remain the property of
Motor vehicle parking offences can be defined as the causing or placing of a vehicle, so as it remains stationary in a position contrary to a notice or marking or regulation.
Illegal parking may relate to both on street and off street situations.
Non-compliance by motorists of parking regulations and restrictions requires continual surveillance by officers, relying on systematic and properly structured patrols.
Patrols should be undertaken during peak periods of non-compliance using elements of local knowledge, officer presence and deterrence.
These techniques are essential in order to reduce the incidence and recurrence of offences.
Causes of Illegal Parking
There are three (3) basic ingredients which will contribute to illegal parking, they are:
Offences of convenience should not be tolerated by officers, as ultimately such parking causes considerable inconvenience to other users such as in the case of designated disabled sites.
Whilst ignorance is no excuse of the law, officers are required to maintain a firm and consistent approach for compliance.
The built environment is an important factor causing the inappropriate placement of motor vehicles. Lack of sufficient parking facilities and poor design is also attributes to the problem for both residential, Council provided areas and designated street zoned sites.
On street parking offences relates to all public street or roads within the Local Government area and is divided into two (2) areas.
Division One Area – Parramatta Central Business District
Division Two – Greater Local Government Environs
Remainder of the
Off street parking relates to all areas under Council jurisdiction regardless of division and includes Councils parking stations, allocated areas, reserves and service agreement sites.
Officers to refer to Enforcement Procedures SEINS this policy, see Council Officer Powers.
NB: Subject to training of officers and approval, amendments to these Standard Operating Procedures will occur.
Efficient and effective parking regulation as previously stated relies heavily on systematic presence by officers. Consistency in enforcement application is the key component in avoiding undue criticism.
Blatant disregard of restrictions by motorists particularly in problem areas should always attract a penalty deterrent.
Leniency is a discretionary option available to all enforcement personnel providing that the officer does not compromise his/her professional ethic in any way.
The following procedures and work practices shall be adopted by officers in all circumstances.
h) Officers to discharge and comply with parking patrol rosters set by the Supervisors.
i) Officers are to be outfitted at all times with relevant equipment for parking patrol duties such as envelopes, chalk or portable radios.
j) Officers to be appropriately attired (uniform) when conducting parking patrols, including hats.
k) Portable radio units to accompany officers conducting exercises.
l) Infringement notifications issued and placed on offending vehicles (if external to a cover) during wet weather shall be encased inside waterproof jackets to avoid deterioration and sufficient motorist notification.
m) No officer shall rest or place his/her foot on the tyre of a vehicle or any other part whilst issuing or preparing an infringement notification.
n) No officer shall lean or rest any portion of his/her body on an adjacent vehicle whilst issuing or preparing an infringement notification.
o) No officer shall chalk the outside wall of a tyre to determine breaches of the time restriction. All chalking shall occur on the tread of the tyre.
p) Officers are to check all signs are clear and visible
q) All four tyres are inflated.
r) That the vehicle is not displaying a valid disabled parking permit.
s) Apply a 10 minute courtesy.
a) Check for current ticket
b) That the meter is functional
c) Signs are clear and visible
d) Obtain a test ticket
e) Apply 10 minute courtesy
f) If you have any concerns prior to issuing an infringement, call your supervisor for guidance and assistance.
g) Fill in daily notebook
h) If machine is not working – then chalk the area and report to base.
The owner of any private land may enter into an agreement with Council under which the land or any part of the land is set aside for the use as a Free Parking Area.
These are known as Council Free Parks, and are governed under Section 650 of the Local Government Act.
Upon entering these parking areas they must have “One clearly visible Condition of Entry Sign/Notice erected at each entrance.
All other time/restrictive signs within the Council Free Carpark are courtesy signs only.
The terms of any such notice or sign may relate to any one or more of the following
a) time during which the public may use the free parking area
b) the designation of a parking space within the free parking area
c) displaying a current parking authority for a person with disabilities
d) the maximum period for which a vehicle may be parked in the free parking area.
Notwithstanding, these Standard Operating Procedures all officers shall further discharge every requirement of the SEINS Bureau standard procedures regarding the issue of infringement notifications.
An enforcement officer is a person charged with the responsibility of conducting inquiries into alleged offences or incidents.
Officers should be completely objective and concerned with establishing innocence as with evidence that may determine guilt.
It is the charter of the officer to determine the truth of the matter by collecting all of the available evidence relevant to the inquiry or incident.
Officers have the responsibility for the prevention and detection of offences against the organisation or authority they represent, or the area in which that authority acts.
As increased responsibility for enforcement of legislation is shifted towards Local Government, greater demands will be placed upon officers to investigate and enforce the volume of laws and regulations placed before them.
Precise rules and procedures applying to any particular situation will depend upon legislative provisions, Council policies and other circumstances involving that situation.
Officers by the very nature of their employment see themselves as an extension of legally constituted authority. This attitude can sometimes lead to a judgement that the most serious offence that can be committed is resisting authority and that resistance or dissent in any form is criminal. Such attitudes can be detrimental in the field of enforcement, particularly where an officer is seeking effective resolution or compliance of issues, situations and incidents.
In order to assist officers through the principles of enforcement, appropriate guidelines have been established within this policy which address:
a) Enforcement Officers Ethics and Standards
b) Concepts of Law and Offence Categories
c) Civil Liberties
d) Enforcement Processes
Additional to the above disciplines, officers are expected to develop sound interpersonal and communication skills, thereby increasing their effectiveness through negotiation and mediation and complete it satisfactorily. Other attributes reflect directly on an officer’s ability to do a specific job.
An effective officer or indeed any person involved in the field of enforcement needs to be able to have particular personality traits and attributes in order to achieve desired end results in such a position.
These may be that the person has to be:
a) energy driven
b) results orientated
c) able to take and receive direction
d) ability to remain in control of a situation
e) ability to be fair and consistent (remain objective)
g) ability to concentrate
h) consistent or minimal variations in mood swings
i) an enforcement ethic
j) a desire to communicate, negotiate, liaise and mediate to resolve conflict.
In the investigation of offences, officers will uncover evidence, which discloses the proofs of a number of offences, which may have emanated from the one act.
It will be standard policy in these instances for the substantive charge to be preferred. The court heavily criticises the laying of numerous charges when one single charge will suffice.
The practice and policy of the Community Enforcement Unit will be to utilise a “best practice” methodology in its investigations.
The practice will reduce the investigation time of menial offences detected by officers in which charges and preparation of briefs of evidence is only undertaken for the most serious offences.
There are two approaches in industrialised countries based on competing philosophies of regulation – deterrence and persuasion.
Advocates of deterrence argue that compliance is driven by the probability and severity of punishment – that is, the expected penalty.
At Parramatta City Council the following measures are available to Regulatory Services to secure compliance with their legislation:
· formal direction
· an improvement notice
· a prohibition notice.
· An on-the-spot fine
· A formal warning of prosecution, and
· A prosecution through the courts.
The Enforcement teams generally draw on these measures in a two-sage process. For the majority of offences, persuasion in the form of advice and compliance notices is used when non-compliance is detected. Only when these fail do the Enforcement Team consider prosecution.
Specific deterrence seeks to alter the behaviour of an individual. General deterrence aims to change behaviour of all individuals.
Ethics have been previously outlined in the Standard Operating Procedures. This code of ethics provides generalised standards for all officers.
A greater ethical standard, in addition to these must be understood and practised as directed by Council and management, as enforcement personnel who, in pursuit of their regulatory role, have many legal obligations placed upon them. The legal requirements outlined in this manual are mandatory provisions of law and are referred to as the law of investigation.
Administrative mechanisms of law are also required to be observed by officers.
Enforcement ethics in practical terms can be described as a sense of “fair play” and apart from the prementioned legal obligations, officers must endeavour to adopt the following standards, which are to be:
- sensitive to the emotional structure of others;
- sincere in the discharge of their duties;
- honest in their reporting of offences;
- consistent in enforcement procedures;
- unbiased in their dealings with others, regardless of nationality, sexuality, religion, political ideology, education or economic status;
- constantly aware that the prime purpose of enforcement is to resolve issues in a positive manner;
- maintain Council’s image as firm, fair and responsive;
- consistent with community expectations;
- consistent with other elements of compliance, education, deterrence and encouragement.
All officers are required to practice these Ethical Standards. See Standard Operating Procedures Officers Ethics.
The principles of justice are drawn or inferred from the common law, of which many are related to the criminal law, which have great implications on investigations carried out or conducted by enforcement personnel. These are set out below.
The Right to Life
Each and every person has a right to live. The common law guards life, which must not be endangered in any way. Comfort and health must also, not be interfered with.
The Right of Freedom of Action
The community in general may do whatever it wants, unless the law forbids it.
A person does not have to do anything unless the law expresses otherwise. An enforcement officer must have a sound knowledge of actions, which are forbidden, and those that are required by law.
See Regulatory Services Standard Operating Procedures relating to Legislative Provisions.
All persons are entitled to liberty, unless there is a lawful reason for deprivation. Enforcement officers must know the circumstances of which a person may be lawfully restrained or arrested, otherwise there must be no interference with a person’s liberty.
See Regulatory Services Standard Operating Procedures relating to Powers of Officers.
The Right to Use and Enjoy Personal Property
Every person has a right to use and enjoy their personal property and must not be deprived of such without the authority of law. Enforcement officers must be aware of the circumstances and statute powers under which such property may be lawfully impounded, confiscated or seized.
See Regulatory Services Standard Operating Procedures relating to Impounding, Seizure and Confiscation.
The Right of Privacy
People have the right of privacy at their place of residence. No one is permitted to enter any residence of another, unless, with the consent of the occupier/s.
Enforcement officers exercising the provisions of various statutes may lawfully enter and remain on such premises. It is imperative that officers know the circumstances and conditions under which such entry may be gained without the consent of the occupier/s.
See Regulatory Services Standard Operating Procedures relating to Powers of Officers.
Ignorance of the Law
Whilst it cannot be expected that every person knows the law, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
All persons shall endeavour to acquaint themselves with the law, as it relates to the activity being engaged. This applies to enforcement officers, as it does to any other person.
Although an excuse by way of an individual pleading ignorance may appear harsh, the rule exists because of it practicality. Hence it is easy for one to claim a lack of knowledge after acting out an illegal activity.
If ignorance was taken into account as a defence, then the law could not be enforced.
See Absolute and Strict Liability Offences in this policy.
The Guilty Mind as an Offence Element
Persons should not be convicted of an offence unless they are committed by a guilty mind. A guilty mind is essential in all common law offences, however, some statutes do not require that element.
Statutory offences not requiring the “mens rea” elements are referred to as absolute or strict liability offences.
See Absolute and Strict Liability Offences in this policy.
Presumption of Innocence
All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty, which is a basic human right. Persons charged with an offence are not required to prove their innocence. However, certain statutes carry a reverse onus of proof requiring defendants to defend an act committed.
See Regulatory Services Standard Operating Procedures Legislative Procedures.
No Requirement to Answer Questions
An enforcement officer or any other person may put questions to any person whether suspected or not of having committed an offence, where it is believed that information may be obtained. However, such person is not required by law to answer any such questions.
An officer has no general powers to demand information from any person, unless there are specific statutory provisions to do so.
See Regulatory Services Standard Operating Procedures – Legislative Provisions.
Arrest for Questioning
A person may not be arrested for the purpose of answering questions. Such detention of a person may result in both civil and criminal action against the person affecting the arrest.
See Regulatory Services Standard Operating Procedures Powers of Arrest.
Those Who Assert Must Prove
A person who accuses another of committing an offence must prove the accusation. The accused person is not required to enter into a defence until a case to answer to is made against that person.
See Regulatory Services Standard Operating Procedures – Legislative Provisions, Reverse Onus of Proof and Evidence.
Beyond Reasonable Doubt
A person shall not be found guilty of an offence unless such guilt is proved beyond reasonable doubt, which is the criminal, standard of proof.
See Regulatory Services Standard Operating Procedures Law of Evidence.
Freedom of Information
A person has a right to access his/her personal information held by an agency, subject to certain conditions provided in the Freedom of Information Act, 1989. This act is applicable to Council and its records, including as defined these records of an officer.
NB: Officers should advise their Supervisor of any information which may effect or be affected by a Freedom of Information Act enquiry. Council’s Public Officer is responsible for the application, administration and execution of any such enquires subject to the consensus of the General Manager. Any contact with the Public Officer in this regard should be referred to the Unit Manager. The General Manager has the authority to declare certain documents exempt should Councils position, legally, be jeopardised. The Public Officer and the General Manager should be consulted in this regard. All such consultations should be directed through the Unit Manager.
The Australian Law Reform Commission was established to review and report upon whether family, business and criminal law are appropriate to a society made up of people from different cultural backgrounds and from ethically diverse communities.
There are close links between culture, religion, tradition, custom and the law. Practices outlawed by custom may be prohibited by the criminal law, rites and ceremonies deriving from religion or tradition might be incorporated in law eg certain religious beliefs and practices. In some societies, there may be conflicting differences between the law, certain practices and customs.
Australian law is
derived from the common of
The law, however, may not adequately recognise or protect the cultural value of all Australians, in particular those citizens who identify with one of the many minority groups which forms part of the broad Australian society.
Enforcement officers will often be required to exercise discretion and must enforce the law in a fair and equitable manner.
Officers need to develop an understanding, an awareness of minority groups and most importantly, officers must examine and challenge their own attitudes regarding these groups for effective representation of the community as a whole.
Officers in the discharge of their regulatory and statutory responsibilities will have cause to question persons suspected or not of having committed an offence or breach of the law.
One of the most fundamental and basic rights of an individual is the right of silence which is based on the common law principal that a person does not have to say anything which would incriminate that individual.
When an enforcement officer is trying to ascertain whether an offence has been committed and by whom, that officer is entitled to question any person whether suspected or not.
As soon as officer has evidence that will afford reasonable grounds in the mind of the officer that the person suspected has committed an offence then that officer shall caution that person or cause him/her to be cautioned before putting any further questions to that person.
Officers should be careful that the caution not be deferred past the point where the suspicion arises in order to secure the admission.
If an admission is made by an offender at a point whereby a caution should have been administered, then there is a risk that such an admission will be ejected by a court.
Cautions are not a
statutory obligation (with the exception of some states in
However, a statement of guilt offered voluntary before there is time to issue a caution, such evidence would not be admissible due to lack of caution. Once such admission is made officers should administer the caution immediately.
The following guidelines should be adopted by officers.
The caution should be administered in the following terms:
“I must caution you that you are not obliged to say anything further unless you wish to do so, as anything you care to tell me may be put in writing and used as evidence. Do you clearly understand that warning?”
The officer must satisfy him or herself that the suspect fully understood the meaning of the caution.
The officer must be satisfied that the person, to whom the caution was issued, fully understood such caution. Nothing prevents the officer from continuing to question the suspected offender.
However, if the person maintains their right to silence, the officer cannot continue to ask the same questions repeatedly.
Officers dealing with juvenile or ethnic offenders should be mindful of the fact that the formal caution may not be understood in the context in which it was delivered or the seriousness of its application.
Officers should practice a degree of discretion and administer the caution in more simple terms.
Officers, after administering a caution to persons in these categories should ask that the caution be repeated back to them in a manner, which clearly indicates that such a caution was clearly understood.
Unlawful actions are not confined to adults. It is accepted that a majority of juveniles are capable of committing offences including those of a serious nature within the community.
Persons under the age of eighteen (18) years are legally defined as juveniles and must be treated as such.
Further, a child under the age of ten (10) years cannot be guilty of an offence.
Juvenile crime often results from peer group pressure, boredom, defiance of authority or ignorance of the law.
It is common policy within law enforcement agencies to target juveniles with the educational arm of enforcement as opposed to judicial actions, this is not to say that all juvenile offences should be dealt with by way of caution, as instances will arise whereby prosecution is the only option available.
Officers having elected to officially caution a juvenile offender, may undertake any of the following:
a) If the offence is of a trivial nature, a verbal warning should be administered.
b) If the offence requires some disciplinary action, adult notification should be undertaken by the officer.
c) If the offence is of such a concern that non-compliance is a possibility or above cautions has previously been administered, the officer should cause the juveniles personal particulars and offence details to be placed on the NSW Police juvenile cautioning system.
It is not appropriate that juveniles be served with official caution notices from Council, however, officers are required to document such details in their official field diaries or make the appropriate official notebook entry, and as such records may give credence should litigation be initiated at a later date.
Section 13(1) of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act of 1987, states that:
Any statement, confession, admission or information made or given to a member of the Police Service by a child who is a party to criminal proceedings, unless:
a) There was present at the place (any place) where and throughout the period of time during which, it was made or given, a prescribed person, being either a person responsible for the child, an adult (other than a member of the Police Service) who was present with the consent of the person responsible for the child.
b) In the case of a child who is of or above the age of 16 years, an adult (other than a member of the Police Service) who was present with the consent of the child.
c) A Barrister or Solicitor of the Childs own choosing (this refers to a child of or above the age of 16 years).
When a child attends an interview voluntarily regarding possible proceedings against that child, the investigating officer will notify a parent or any person aged 18 years or older having guardianship of the child of the location of the intended interview.
Officers shall record all such steps taken to have a parent or guardian attend such an interview.
This is necessary for a court to determine that all reasonable efforts have been made.
Officers dealing with people of non Australian background must be sure in their own mind that the message being conveyed is clearly understood by that person.
Should it be necessary to interview a person who cannot read/understand or speak English, it is essential that the services of an interpreter be obtained.
Officers must obtain a statement from the interpreter who will relate the interpreted conversation to a court if so required.
The State Debt Recovery Office is responsible for the processing of infringement notices issued all Enforcement Officers on a state-wide basis.
The State Debt Recovery unit of the RTA was formed to oversee customer service client reconciliation, training and customer liaison.
The SEINS system was enacted as from
Briefly, the scheme provides that traffic and parking law enforcement in NSW will not be automatically referred for determination by a court unless the individual so desires. It is an automated administrative process of enforcement and associated revenue collection.
The scheme was further
amended by the Motor Traffic (Penalty Defaults) Amendment Act which, from
A Short Title of Offence or Prescribed Expression must be gazetted under the Justices (Short Title of Traffic and Other Offences) Regulation 1986 for any offence that is to be subject of an on-the-spot infringement notice under SEINS.
A prescribed officer has two (2) options of dealing with an offender. An officer may, for the majority of offences, issue an on the spot infringement notice which carries a fixed penalty in accordance with the offence committed. In matters of a serious nature, or where an infringement notice is not appropriate, a breach report may be submitted. (See Breach Reports).
The issue of an on-the-spot infringement notice is the commencement of the SEINS system. Under the legislation an offender has four (3) options available for disposing of an infringement notice.
a) Parking and traffic offences and 21 days for payment to be made and environmental offences have 28 days to pay from the date of issue.
b) Enact the owner-onus provisions of the legislation by completing a statutory declaration nominating the full name and address of the person actually responsible for the offence. This applies to parking and camera detected offences only. A statutory declaration is provided on the reverse side of Part C.
c) Elect to have the matter dealt with before a court. A court election is provided on the reverse side of an infringement notice and courtesy letter. Clients are notified of a court election by the issue of an unavailable dates form forwarded to the Police Prosecutor regarding available dates.
Should the infringement notice not be satisfied within the prescribed period of 21 days, or 28 days in the case of an environmental offence, a courtesy letter is forwarded to the offender. The courtesy letter offers the individual the same four (3) options of disposing of the notice as above and an additional 28 days to pay. Customers may contact the SDRO and request/arrange for up to two (2) extensions to finalize payment.
In the case of parking and traffic offences, if the infringement notice remains unsatisfied after a further statutory period 28 days after the courtesy letter is issued, the matter is referred to the SDRO Enforcement Unit for the commencement of fine default action. The Enforcement Unit undertakes a search of the drivers’ licence / motor vehicle registration records to locate a current record for the offender and if found, issues an enforcement notice.
This notice requires payment of the original infringement penalty amount plus an additional collection fee being an enforcement order within a 21-day statutory period. If payment is not received, fine default will be taken by the State Debt Recovery Service. This may result in automatic cancellation of the offenders drivers licence or motor vehicle registration, until the penalty is paid.
In cases of offences not relating to a motor vehicle offence and if the offender is unlicensed or is not the registered owner of a motor vehicle in NSW, the matter is referred to the Local Courts administration. A Court Enforcement Order is then produced by the Infringement Processing Bureau on behalf of the local courts administration who then become the enforcing authority.
Like the Notice of Cancellation, an Enforcement Order carries a statutory fee in addition to the original penalty, which must be satisfied within a prescribed period of 21 days.
Should the penalty still remain unsatisfied, a warrant is issued by the court and referred to the Police Service for execution. The warrant of commitment carries an additional statutory cost, which is added to the cumulated penalty amount. It can be satisfied by payment to Police of the specified penalty, by service of a Community Service Order and finally by arrest and detention of the offender for a predetermined period.
On street parking offences
Officers employed by local Councils to participate in the enforcement of parking restrictions. Authorisation for those officers to perform this duty is vested in the CEO.
a) Council enforcement officers will only use infringement books issued by the State Debt Recovery Office or PDA’s. Completed books are to be handed to Supervisors.
b) Council enforcement officers will be trained by a SEINS, LGSA training or senior parking officers or Supervisor.
c) Complaint matters in Council areas are to be attended to by same, however, outside office hours Rangers on call will attend to those matters deemed an emergency, except in circumstances pertaining to anti social behaviour.
d) Where Council officers experience difficulties at the scene of a parking infringement location those inquiries should be attended by their supervisor.
e) Council’s Parking Patrol Officers (PPO’s) will be given the same powers and will police parking restrictions in the role of an authorized officer.
The Road Rules Road Transport (General) Regulation 2008, Road Transport (General) Act 2005.
Road Transport (General) Act 2005
The authorisation to issue parking infringement notices to report offending vehicles, for parking offences and the details concerning the issue of infringement notices, is set out in Division 1 section 15 of the Road Transport (General Act) 2005, No. 18.
Powers relating to the issue and enforcement of parking regulations
Council enforcement officers are engaged in the enforcement of parking regulations by virtue of the Road Transport Safety and Traffic Management Act 1999, section 8.
“The Governor may make regulations, and may thereby make provisions for or with respect to the marking of tyres of motor vehicles by means of crayon, chalk or any similar substance by members of the Police Service and Special Constables in the employ of the Commissioner of Police for any purpose connected with the enforcement of any of the provisions of any Act, Regulation or Ordinance.”
The Road Rules 2008 contains diagrams of traffic control signs and only signs answering the general description of the illustrations are authorised.
Whilst authorised signs are normally affixed to metal posts, there are a number of instances where portable signs with a pedestal are utilised in various places ie adjacent to places of workshop to facilitate the conduct of weddings and funerals etc. Some authorised “clip-on signs” are in regular use in certain areas. Should Council officers have doubt as to whether portable or clip-on signs are authorised, advise should be sought from a member of Council’s Traffic Section.
INCLUDE REFERENCE TO RELEVANT LEGISLATION AND SEEK ADVICE FROM TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT UNIT.
Should an infringement book be lost or stolen, such loss or theft shall be immediately reported to a supervisor who will advise the NSW Police and the State Debt Recovery Office.
At the end of each calendar month, infringement books are to be presented to the Supervisor for perusal.
Officers shall not retain infringement books whilst on leave.
No officer shall issue an infringement notice unless prescribed with the appropriate delegation by Council.
All officers are required to thoroughly acquaint themselves with the SEINS Training Manual and Fixed Penalty Handbook.
Prior to the issue of an infringement notice, all enforcement officers are required to practice the following procedures:
a) Have reasonable cause to believe that an offence has been committed.
b) Prima facie evidence of the offence has been established.
c) Details of the offence have been recorded in the officer’s official notebook.
The above applies where infringement notices are issued to the following:
a) Person in charge.
b) The owner.
c) Persons doing the activity.
d) Persons named in approvals.
e) Prima facie evidence has been recorded on the infringement notice.
f) All parts A, B and C of the infringement notice are completed accurately.
g) Infringement notices are completed in a legible manner.
h) Only black biro has been used and is permitted when writing notices.
i) Offence and regulation codes are correct and completed.
Infringement Notices Requiring Onus
Where an infringement notice is issued requiring an owner onus, that is, issued to vehicle instead of person, the following shall apply:
Cancelled Infringement Notices
Where an error is made during the preparation of an infringement, which renders the notice void or inappropriate, the notice should not be issued. All parts of the notice (3) must be clearly endorsed, cancelled and signed by two (2) supervisors including date, brief particulars as to the reason for cancellation and details of other action taken must be endorsed on all copies, eg no offence, see subsequent infringement number Z1234567, and part A & C are to be forwarded to the State Debt Recovery Office.
The Part A and C of the cancelled notice should be removed from the infringement notice book, stapled together and forwarded to the SDRO in the same manner as when despatching Part A’s. If another notice has been issued in lieu of the cancelled notice the relevant Part A should be forwarded separately not attached to the cancelled notice.
Notices that are cancelled prior to dispatch to the Bureau are not charged the service fee.
Notices Incorrectly Used
Where a notice has been incorrectly issued, no attempt should be made to retrieve the Part C. In this case, the Part A should be forwarded, accompanied by a report setting out the error, to the Manager – Operations Unit in the DAILY dispatch. A copy of this report should be appended to the Part B that will remain in the infringement book for audit purposes.
Errors and their Repercussions
The infringement notice Part A is the source document and as such needs to be accurate, complete and legible.
Unfortunately, errors are made when completing infringements and this can result in:
a) Time delays.
b) Incorrect information being conveyed.
c) Infringements have to be dealt with by no action.
d) Possible wrong enforcement.
e) Delays in placing the infringements onto the system.
f) Difficulties in acquitting and accounting for payments when infringements not on system.
g) Statutory declarations and court elections cannot be processed until infringements are on system.
h) Increased correspondence and complaints.
i) Unsuccessful prosecution and awarding of costs against the issuing authority.
Some of the common errors detected daily are:
a) Client Code or Client Edit Code not indicated or invalid. This affects the maintenance of statistics and makes it difficult to trace infringement books for enquiry purposes.
b) Omitting the time, day or date of offence - without this information the infringement cannot be placed on system. This information is also prima facie evidence for court. Do no use 24-hour clock time.
c) Incomplete or illegible licence details. If this occurs enforcement action may be instituted against the wrong person.
d) Unclear and illegible handwriting. This obviously can result in incorrect data being captured to the computer system and the subsequent incorrect enforcement action.
In the event of an individual / offender making a representation in relation to the issue of an infringement notice, the following procedures will apply:
a) Immediately upon receipt of representations by the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO), the maturity date of the offence will be extended. If the client fails to make a decision within that period, the infringement will automatically proceed to further enforcement action. Therefore it is very important clients treat representations as a priority. SDRO send courtesy letters.
b) The original representations will be sent by post to the nominated contact officer of the client with a covering schedule.
c) An infringement notice may be dealt with by deciding:
i) Penalty to Stand – if the infringement should remain.
ii) No Action – if there is some doubt as the correctness of the infringement.
iii) Caution – if there are extenuating circumstances where leniency may be considered. The guidelines distributed by the SDRO should be used as a guide.
d) The supervisor or Service Manager of Ranger Services is to ensure the appropriate reply is made directly to the customer. If the client has agreed to utilise the general or premium service then the SDRO will send a reply.
e) The covering schedule is to be completed with the decision and returned to the SDRO by facsimile message. SDRO Fax number id (02) 4937 9122
f) Guidelines for the handling of representations are available to the client’s contact officer. The guidelines also include suggested draft replies.
· All tyres are to be crossed with chalk prior to issuing tickets
· Distances in metres
· Ped Cross 5m approach side 1m departure
· Bus stop 10m approach side 5m departure
· Post box 1m approach side 1m departure
· Intersection no lights 10m with tape measure
· Intersection with lights 10m approach 10m departure
· Dividing line 2.9m from double lines
What do you need for an offence!
1. A motor Vehicle
2. An offence
3. Signs clear and visible
4. A public Road
All vehicles issued a penalty notice are to be on
1. Time limit 10 minutes over expiry time.
2. Test machine with coin by placing money into slot and make sure it registers then press cancel. Obtain test ticket then issue penalty notice to vehicle.
3. If coin function works and credit card function does not a penalty notice may still be issued
4. If both functions do not work Do Not Issue a Penalty Notice
5. If credit card function works and coins do not a penalty notice may still be issued
6. All ticket parking areas will be chalked to ensure compliance.
7. No test ticket required for the offence Park After Ticket Expired
All 4x4 vehicles: Are classed the same as station wagons and allow 15 minutes, if time limit is exceeded the offence will be Stop in loading Zone. If the expired time is over the ½ hour limit you may issue a penalty notice for the offence of Stop in Loading Zone longer than ½ hour
Vans, trucks and utes are permitted to park in a loading zone for 30 minutes. If the expired time is exceeded a penalty notice may be issued for the offence of Stop in Loading Zone longer than ½ hour
Motorcycles with a three wheeled assembly and a box attachment are allowed 15 minutes in a Loading Zone.
Loading Zone Ticket
If a station wagon displays a ticket for 30 mins a penalty notice is to be issued for Park Without Loading Zone Ticket. The reason for this is that they should have obtained/displayed a 15 min ticket issued from the machine
If a truck displays a 15 min ticket the tyre is to be chalked and 30 minutes are to be allowed before a penalty notice is issued
All vehicles parked on/across driveways are to be actioned as per the offence in the Road Rules 2008. If the vehicle is parked not facing the property (On driveway) then the path/strip offence is to apply.
Path / Strip
All offences are to be recorded as follows -
Near side or N/S of vehicle stood approx. _____metres N/S/E/W of the
N/S/E/W kerb alignment facing N/S/E/W Vehicle stood wholly on path / strip
Near side or N/S of vehicle stood approx. _____metres N/S/E/W of the
N/S/E/W kerb alignment facing N/S/E/W Vehicle stood with its 2 near side wheels on the path / strip
Contrary to a Restrictive Parking Control Sign
Vehicle stood wholly between the No Stopping/ No Parking Sign and the intersection of __________ Street Road etc.
Near side or N/S of vehicle stood approx. ______metres N/S/E/W of the N/S/E/W kerb alignment facing N/S/E/W Vehicle stood double parked to Vehicle __________ (Record) who stood close and parallel to the kerb.
Direction of travel
Near side or N/S of vehicle stood approx. ______metres N/S/E/W of the N/S/E/W kerb alignment facing N/S/E/W Vehicle stood facing oncoming traffic.
Intersection no lights
Front or Rear of vehicle stood approx. ________metres (Must exceed 10 meters) N/S/E/W of the intersection of _____________Street, Road etc. With No Traffic Lights, Facing N/S/E/W
Front or Rear of vehicle stood approx. ________metres (Must be within 3 meters) N/S/E/W of the Postal pillar box facing N/S/E/W.
Near side or N/S of vehicle stood approx ________metres (Must be within 3 meters) N/S/E/W of the dividing line facing N/S/E/W.
Not parallel park near left
Near side or N/S of vehicle stood approx ________metres N/S/E/W of the N/S/E/W kerb alignment facing N/S/E/W
Front / Rear of vehicle stood approx _______metres N/S/E/W on the approach/ departure side facing N/S/E/W
Only issue penalty notice if you receive a complaint from the foreman/ leading hand or manager of work site. Obtain that persons name and details.
Only taxi cabs are permitted to park in sign posted taxi zone. If a taxi is parked and unattended a penalty notice may be issued.
Australia Post contractors and Australian Aust post vehicles are permitted to stop/park in a mail zone. All other vehicles detected in a mail zone may be issued a penalty notice.
People can pick up, drop off, or deposit mail in pillar box.
If you are passing another officer/s rostered beat and you observe a red sign offence you are to record and issue a penalty notice to that vehicle. Please ensure that you place a chalk mark cross on the tyre and advise the officer/s on that beat of your actions by two way radio.
10 mins for morning tea and 1 hour for lunch
All officers are to perform a radio check in the morning to ensure radio is in good working condition
Senior staff are to ensure that they instruct/check new staff (Trainee’s) notebooks are up to date and signed off daily. Supervisor are to check officer notebooks on a weekly basis.
Layout of notebook
Seen (signed by trainer daily). Supervisor weekly.
Check list before going out on the road
Infringement book (Ensure adequate number of notices), test coins, chalk, radio, water, reflective vest, hat, official notebook, tape measure, name badge, work phone, spare pen, torch if at night, first aid kit, authority and apply sunscreen.
If you are in a council vehicle and observe an illegally parked vehicle and can not stop/legally park you may post the penalty notice
Whilst walking on a rostered beat and you observe an illegally parked vehicle, you are to approach the motorist and request they move on. A penalty notice may still be issued.
Vehicles observed illegally parked in school zones are to attract a penalty deterrent