King Alfred remains at the cutting edge of enforcement
As the first local authority outside of the capital to adopt decriminalised parking enforcement, Winchester City Council is not afraid to lead from the front. And, working in close partnership with Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions (ICES), it has continued to encourage and support innovation in all areas of civil enforcement.
“The Parking Services team at the Council have played a very active role in our User Group for nearly 20 years”, says ICES Sales Team Manager, Mandy Watson. “In particular, the insight and contribution of the Council’s Assistant Parking Services Manager – Scott MacBrayne – was invaluable in the development of our dedicated enforcement software for handhelds and now smartphones. And we’re now working with Scott and his colleagues on an exciting new development in intelligent camera technology.”
Winchester City Council was one of the first authorities to adopt back office processing software in the early 1990s. The ICES 3sixty system – the latest generation of the software introduced by the Council – has continued to develop over the intervening years in terms of functionality and to reflect new generation technologies and new legislative developments. However, despite the adoption of cutting edge technologies, the Council’s Head of Parking and CCTV – Richard Hein – is quick to emphasise that the authority is absolutely committed to fair enforcement and encouraging both on and off-street compliance.
“Although, the Council’s boundaries extend far beyond the city itself, it serves the interests of around 120,000 residents”, says Hein. “However, the local economy is dependent not just on business but also on day-trippers and visitors as the heritage and history of the area attracts well over 5.5 million visitors to the city a year. This puts a great strain on our transport infrastructure, so it’s essential every effort is made to keep narrow city streets flowing and maintain accessibility to parking facilities at all times in order to meet the disparate needs of residents and visitors alike.
“Heavy-handed enforcement would be completely inappropriate. As a result, all 18 of our CEOs have attended ‘Welcome Host’ training and are a source of information for tourists as well as being responsible for encouraging motorists to comply with all relevant parking regulations.”
Winchester City Council has already equipped its CEOs with the Samsung Galaxy supported with the ICES Rialto enforcement software for android devices. Combining the intuitive nature and efficiency of the software and the ease of use of smartphones has proved very popular with the CEOs. But Richard Hein is also keen to highlight the advantages of real-time communications and the flexibility of smartphone technology.
“We’re determined to capitalise on every opportunity to improve the quality of our service for customers which is why we include QR codes on our tickets, have made full use of pay-by-phone payment options and have now replaced our previous handheld units,” says Hein.
“As well as simplifying the process of enforcement, the new smartphone technology and supporting software provides us with a real-time link with our CEOs. This has helped us to address elusive debtors, enabled us to relay important information to a CEO while they are on patrol and ensured any queries are resolved immediately.
“The CEOs can also act as the eyes and ears of the Council during their patrols as they can relay instant reports on any highway defects, graffiti and fly-tipping to the relevant Council team using the ‘Your Winchester’ app. We’re now looking at the potential for adopting additional apps which offer customer service advantages and reinforce the role of of our CEOs as a source of local information.”
The Council is also working closely with ICES as the company prepares to launch a further enhancement to its Rialto software solution. This is expected to be launched later in the summer and will provide users with an innovative intelligent camera option to transform enforcement efficiencies.
“This is an exciting new development and represents the next generation of intelligent handheld technologies,” continues ICES Mandy Watson “Working closely with progressive
authorities like Winchester City Council and experienced officers like Richard and Scott helps to ensure our ongoing commitment to innovation delivers proven and reliable new product developments and system upgrades for the benefit of all of our clients.”
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Issued on behalf of Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions