Police don’t get prosecuted for speeding SHOCK!!

This news article is a few days old, so the blog is a little late, but that’s what you get for working shifts in the thick of it.

Good old Police Oracle (via The Sun) have run an article based on a Freedom of Information request to the police forces of the UK asking how many police officers have been prosecuted for speeding.  The results are, apparently, shocking and indicate some kind of endemic corruption in the police as we don’t prosecute our drivers for exceeding the speed limit.

I don’t know about you but, last time I checked, emergency services have an exemption from sticking to the speed limit if doing so would impinge or otherwise affect the performance of their duties. What this means in layman’s terms is that if some idiot is wandering around a school armed with a machine gun taking pot-shots at kids, or some idiot is using a machete to rearrange his wife’s face, or someone else is bleeding to death at the scene of a road traffic crash, we NEED to get to the scene as quickly as humanly possible.

If we pootled about at 30mph, we’d still get there, but instead of catching offenders and calming down shocked witnesses and would-be victims, we’d be counting the dead, helping paramedics hold someone together or sealing off the scene of a fatal RTC.

Gitso Camera

Gitsos - Catching the unobservant since 1991.

Just one in every 1,800 police drivers who trigger speed cameras on duty gets punished at Britain’s biggest police force, it has been revealed.

Fair enough.  Sounds about right to me as the only police you’ll see speeding on duty are those with blues ‘n’ twos running, for the most part.  Where’s the shocker?

The Met Police stats are among the highest in the UK.

That’ll be because the Met are the biggest Force in the UK, with (on average) about 10 times the number of police officers than any of the rural Forces.

Of 17 areas where figures are kept, 88,536 Gatso incidents involving an on-duty officer were detected last year. But just 158 were convicted – most getting a £60 fine and three points.

I’d be worried that as many as 158 were convicted, not just 158.  100% of Gatso activations should be because the police car is on its way to an emergency.  So there should, ideally, be a 0% conviction rate.  As for the penalty, it’s the standard penalty that any member of the public would receive so they can’t claim unfairness there.

The law allows 999 cars to ignore limits if obeying them would “hinder” duties. Cases are probed by top brass who decide if the officer needed to speed. But the high number of let-offs has raised eyebrows.

It’s only raised eyebrows in the media – the bound-by-no-morals champion of whatever cause raises the most sales this week. Let’s just clarify the reason why so many police aren’t prosecuted for speeding:  It’s because they haven’t broken any laws.

It’s about time the media stopped misquoting and misrepresenting the facts.  I for one am getting sick of it.

Police Pursuit Car

Here's your new pursuit car, but you can't go faster than 30 in it...


Road safety charity Brake said “Speed is the biggest killer on our roads. Offenders need to be held accountable for their behaviour.”

Don’t even get me started on this… I’ve already had to delete three paragraphs of text that I wrote in response to this quote, I’ve decided to leave it for another blog post.


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10 Responses to “Police don’t get prosecuted for speeding SHOCK!!”

  1. Fee Says:

    Despite having made my fair share of jokes along the lines of “must be tea-time at the station” when a police car goes zipping by with blues and twos going, I don’t actually believe it.

    I’m all for freedom of information, but the newspapers are using it as a stick to beat everyone but themselves with. Still, I suppose the journos can cobble together this kind of story without leaving the comfort of their nice warm office, eh? Heaven forfend they should actually go out on the streets looking for real stories.

    • Black Shuck Says:

      “I suppose the journos can cobble together this kind of story without leaving the comfort of their nice warm office, eh? Heaven forfend they should actually go out on the streets looking for real stories.”

      Actually some of them aren’t really allowed to leave their offices. They have to spend the day rehashing press releases (including jargon-ridden PR crap from their local police force). That’s because newspaper companies have hacked (sorry, couldn’t resist it) away at staff numbers over the years and consequently, newsrooms are half empty.

      I’m lucky. I have my own little bijou district office, at least until my employers realise it still exists. I have time to spend cobbling together decent stories.

      And although I don’t believe that in general, police officers abuse their right to drive faster than the speed limit when answering a call, I’ve covered stories in the past where some of them definitely have. Can’t say I blame them entirely.

  2. Adam Says:

    Perhaps the people who feel aggrieved at these statistics should have the right to “opt out” – whereby a request for any emergency service, by them, will be under strict instructions not to break any speed limits.

  3. allcoppedout Says:

    The real question here is how many cops are actually just speeding etc. rather than acting in public service. There were prosecutions against ambulance drivers fairly recently in which the public service defence seems to have worked only after they were forced to court. A cop speeding back to base to clock off so as not to be late for his own wedding (I was late anyway, sadly not late enough!) should be as amenable to the law as any other drivers, and is in law.
    I don’t give a damn about speeding tickets, but in practice it is too difficult to get bent cops done (surely the lesson from Dizaei, Stockwell – not the shooting officers, the swanking bureaucrats – and recent failed TSG prosecution).
    The law is clear on speeding in public service, and it does mean cops speeding to non-emergency jobs or to pick up the block’s fish suppers should get done. I’m prepared to put up with the double standard here, but not the general activities and attitudes of PSDs and IPCC in their defensive and blinkered failure to investigate real problems fairly.

    Adam’s thought experiment above works rather well (if missing my point) and Fee is spot on.

  4. allcoppedout Says:

    I’ll just share this if I may. Our long term harasser, mad woman, thief, deceiver, drug-dealing, benefit sponsored abuser of her own children and violent scumbag finally pleaded guilty to arson with intent and a serious sec 47 this week, 12 and 18 months after the offences, during which time she and her partner have continued their behaviour as scrote-notorioso. The judge made it plain she is looking at long custodial treatment when sentenced in early March.
    Three cheers I said to somewhere over the eight after running from court to the pub!

  5. dungbeetle Says:

    The media remind me of hyenas, always robbing and howling [Baying].
    Speeding cameras know not the reason why one goes thru an intersection that says no by means of a red light.
    Thus it is the duty of the press to tell the whole story, not to lie by omission, so they can get a better income.
    Authorised use of emergency action and asinine use.

    Misuse of authority to get even with Joe PC should also be looked into.

    So the question remains whats the ‘onest truth.

  6. Tony F Says:

    Must be a quiet news day.

    I stopped buying ‘news’ papers years ago. I know it won’t make any difference to them whether I read their nonsense or not, but it sure helps my blood pressure.

    It would be little loss to anyone nowadays if all the papers went bust. None of them are paragons of virtue. I suspect that if they were properly investigated…

  7. Crime Analyst Says:


    The results of our 43 Police Force Freedom of Information Requests are nearly all in.

    We have published a post today introducing the subject. We will post the final results and analysis as soon as the last force complies.

    In the meantime, we would be grateful for any views from the operational rank and file.


    With Kind Regards


  8. Crime Analyst Says:


    The results opf our FOI requests about dwindling response numbers are in and they’re as shocking as you might expect.

    Watch the press this week, it’s expected to hit. In the meantime, have a look at the report on our site ….


    Thanks again for your support.
    Kind Regards


  9. busybizzie Says:

    My force is clamping down on use of blues and twos to the point that, on my way to a ‘fear for occupant’ for a bloke who was believed to have collapsed in his home, I was overtaken by the ambulance crew we were going to force entry for as they sailed past, blue lights merrily flashing, as I bimbled along at the speed limit.
    They were slightly confused when we meandered up a few minutes later.

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