ATTACKS on traffic officers could see them armed with body cameras if new plans are given the go-ahead.

Test Valley Borough Council are in talks to arm wardens with recording devices in a bid to stop assaults by angry motorists.

Last year there was a total of 11 “violent incidents” against officers. They ranged from verbal and physical intimidation to threats of violence as well as inciting hate against officers via social media. There were also physical attacks.

Between 2015 and 2016, only five were reported.

And in the period from August 2017 to February 2018 wardens logged 62 incidents of antisocial behaviour directed towards them in addition to those reported as violent.

Planning and transport portfolio holder, Councillor Nick Adams-King, said: “Over the past few years, and in particular during 2017, we have noticed a significant increase in the number of incidents of both verbal and physical aggression towards our parking civil enforcement officers (CEOs).

“We have a responsibility for the health, safety and welfare of our staff and it is also important that we ensure our CEOs respond appropriately in difficult situations.”

The council is only one of two local authorities in Hampshire, the other being New Forest District Council, that does not currently provide its traffic wardens with body cameras, and Cllr Adams King added: “Evidence from other local authorities already using body cameras shows that they have had a significant impact on reducing abuse and aggression.”

For officers to be awarded cameras the council will first need to undertake a privacy impact assessment to ensure that the use of the cameras takes into account the effect on individuals and their privacy.

This will involve a public consultation which has been launched on the council’s website from the start of this month, and will ask for the public’s views of the idea.