The United Services Union has declared it one of the state's most dangerous jobs after two parking rangers from Waverley Council were brutally attacked last night.
The two rangers were punched and attacked with a knife during a routine patrol of Oxford Street in the Eastern Suburbs at about 10pm Thursday night.
The USU, who represents rangers and parking patrol officers, said the incident is an example of the ever-increasing problem of violence towards these workers.
Being a parking ranger is an incredibly dangerous job and our members are being abused and injured every day on the streets of Sydney.
This is surely NSW’s most dangerous job.
The USU is currently conducting a state-wide survey of all rangers to help address the increasing pressures and abuse they face on an everyday basis.
The initial response has found that rangers have a high level of concern for their own safety, with many experiencing some form of verbal or physical abuse at work.
Mr Kruse said the incidents of bashings and verbal abuse have also increased since smoking was banned in pubs and clubs.
With patrons out on the street having a smoke, verbal abuse directed at parking rangers has significantly increased, which is of great concern.
The last thing these council workers, who are just trying to do their job, need is to be abused and assaulted by drunk patrons outside pubs.
The USU said the issue of abuse directed at rangers needed to be urgently addressed, and has identified two key challenges the Rees Government and Local Councils must face if they want to stop this systematic form of abuse.
1. Improve workplace safety and develop better protections for rangers on patrol.
2. Adopt a community campaign to educate the public as to the work rangers do, and encourage greater respect.
Horror stories of violence are common, says the USU, with a ranger outside a building site in Rockdale recently attacked by workers throwing a rock through the car windscreen, and another ranger being bashed while issuing a parking ticket.
The community expects parking to be enforced and patrolled, and the rangers aren’t the ones who set the rules and legislation.
Unfortunately the rangers are the ones that are targeted by abuse, and its time local councils and the Government did more to protect them and change public attitudes.