“A woeful lack of understanding… 1 mile an hour speeding plans risk alienating the public we are there to serve”
GMP Federation Chairman Ian Hanson responds to comments from the National Police Chief`s Council Lead on Road Policing - that drivers in England and Wales should be punished for going 1mph over the speed limit…
Ian said: “Whilst any sensible person would support the principle of trying to make our roads safer, I think the comments by Chief Constable Anthony Bangham demonstrate a woeful lack of understanding of the sensitivities around speed enforcement and the relationship between the motoring public and the police.
“Chief Constable Bangham, who is the National Police Chief`s Council Lead on Road Policing issues, has called for an end to the 10% `buffer` in place before motorists face action and has also said that they should face prosecution if they are even just 1 mile an hour over the limit.
“On top of that he has said that `Speed Awareness Courses` used across the UK should be scaled back and motorists instead should face prosecution. If that were not enough he also commented that those caught should stop `whingeing` about it.
“I find it absolutely staggering that the effective policy lead for policing should show himself to be so out of touch with not only the overwhelming number of police officers who are out there keeping our communities safe and putting themselves in the way of danger every day, but also alienating those communities we are there to serve.
“Speed enforcement has always been a thorny issue since it can encompass even the most law-abiding of us and has the potential to damage the relationship between the service and overwhelming proportion of the public who support their local police.
“Whilst I fully agree that we need to have an effective speed enforcement policy, we have moved on from the days of random speed traps being put in place to pick off easy targets and now work in partnership with Local Authorities to target specific locations supported by accident data.
“On the back of that work the Partnership recognises that most motorists find themselves in that position through omission or ignorance and for some years now highly successful Driver Awareness Programmes have been in place in every part of the UK that the offending motorist has to pay for themselves which develop their understanding and improves their whole round behaviour as a driver making the roads safer.
“So Mr Bangham wants everyone who speeds 1mph over the limit prosecuting – well I would throw down the challenge to him as to how are we going to do that?
“We have lost more than 21,000 police officers from our numbers across England and Wales since 2010 and we can barely keep even the most basic numbers of police officers on the streets to deal with ever rising crime figures and the threat from terrorism.
“Mr Bangham says that motorists should stop `whingeing`… but if I got a speeding ticket in his home force of West Mercia for doing 1 mile an hour over the speed limit I think I would have a lot to whinge about - living in an area where in the last year violent crime has gone up 17%, public order offences are up 38% and overall crime is up 5%...and my Chief Constable seemed so distracted and intent on going backwards.”
Much as it may annoy some on here, not all Cops are out to screw everyone