EMEL inspectors suspected of assaulting citizens are suspended from duty

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The three EMEL inspectors who allegedly assaulted a 35-year-old man have been temporarily suspended from their duties, the company’s president said today during a hearing at the Municipal Assembly.

The president of EMEL, Carlos Silva, was heard this afternoon at the 8th committee of the Lisbon Municipal Assembly about the incident involving three EMEL employees who allegedly assaulted a citizen.

The case was reported last week by Correio da manhã, which said that the alleged aggression involved three inspectors, who allegedly broke three teeth and the nose of the 35-year-old victim.

That day, EMEL announced, in a statement, that it had opened an investigation to determine the “disciplinary responsibilities” of the enforcement agents involved in the alleged aggression, keeping them on duty without contact with the public.

During this afternoon’s hearing, the president of EMEL reported that the three inspectors have been suspended from duty since Friday “preventively, without loss of pay,” while the disciplinary inquiry is underway.

Starting by regretting the alleged incident, Carlos Silva stressed that the municipal company “has 28 years of history” and that this is the first situation that places EMEL inspectors as alleged aggressors.

“EMEL has 28 years of history and this is the first situation in which, allegedly, someone from EMEL assaults a citizen. In this circumstance, I think that we cannot confuse the tree with the forest and, in a way, penalize EMEL because three employees were less zealous,” he defended, recognizing that the episode can “tarnish the company’s image.

On the other hand, stressing that he didn’t want to minimize this situation, Carlos Silva reported the number of aggressions (physical and verbal) perpetrated on EMEL employees in the last seven years.

According to figures released by the president of EMEL, between 2016 and this year 161 lawsuits were registered with EMEL employees as victims, of which 39 relate to crimes against physical integrity and 121 to insults and assaults.

“It doesn’t serve to excuse anyone, but we cannot fail to emphasize that there is violence against those who work with us,” he argued.

Carlos Silva referred that there is still no prediction for the conclusion of the disciplinary inquiry, but expressed the intention that it be “concluded as soon as possible.

A week ago, in a statement, EMEL announced a new Enforcement Department and said that since March it has been implementing “a new philosophy” in this area, for a transformation in processes and approach to citizens.

The announcement by the company that oversees and regulates parking in the capital came a day after Lisbon’s Deputy Mayor Filipe Anacoreta Correia (CDS-PP), who is responsible for Mobility, said he was “shocked” when he learned that there were remunerative gains associated with EMEL fines and that the measure had been “immediately suspended.

Lisbon City Hall suspended incentives to EMEL employees for past fines

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