Published: 00:01, 03 July 2014
A former bouncer has started a campaign to shame fellow parents who are putting schoolchildren in danger with their irresponsible parking.
Jim Richards, 45, from Swanscombe knows how to keep calm in stressful situations.
Working as a doorman for 17 years, the father-of-two is used to people being angry with him, and that experience has certainly come in handy over the past week.
Mr Richards has a six-year-old daughter at Manor Road Community Primary School in Keary Road, Swanscombe, and when he dropped her off, he realised people were parking on yellow zig-zag lines close to the school entrance, making it difficult for children to cross the road safely.
He confronted some of the parents and after disagreements with those unwilling to park elsewhere, Mr Richards decided enough was enough and started taking photos of the cars he believed were causing a problem.
He then put them on Facebook for all to see, including via the Swanscombe Dwellers community page.
He claims there has been a difference since he started the campaign just over a week ago, with some parents arriving earlier to drop off their children or parking elsewhere.
Some people have lost their rag with Mr Richards, but his experience as a doorman has allowed him to keep his cool.
He said: “I think it really does help. I don’t get irate because you can’t as a doorman.
“It is more about people management. It was quite easy talking to people even when they were shouting at you.”
Mr Richards, who is now a window cleaner, said he “took it on himself” to do something on behalf of concerned parents.
He said: “There’s mums and dads who haven’t got a voice but think the same thing.
"Dartford council got involved and said the pictures should have been passed straight to the authorities, but we were finding that these people were parking there no matter what.
“It has got a lot of support from the parents.”
The school was contacted for a comment but had not returned our calls by the time the Messenger went to press.