Posts Tagged ‘freedom of information’

Police don’t get prosecuted for speeding SHOCK!!

February 18, 2010

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.