26 December 2005

77 police officers avoid speed fines

Belfast Telegraph

By David Gordon
26 December 2005

A total of 77 PSNI officers have been detected speeding on duty in a single year and none of them has received a ticket, newly released figures showed today.

The statistics relate to the period September 30, 2004 to September 30 this year and have been compiled in a UK-wide investigation by the London-based news agency the Press Association (PA).

The special report found that to date, all the speeding Ulster officers have been exempted under road traffic regulations from receiving a fixed penalty notice or being prosecuted.

It was also revealed by PA that the PSNI had a rate of 0.01 speeding incidents per officer.

This put it well down the UK league table for police forces.

Essex police topped the table with 5,269 in just six months - a rate of 3.26 per officer per year.

Second highest was Bedfordshire with 2,519 in a year, or a rate of 2.04 for each officer.

The survey data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, showed huge variations in the number of speeding cases in forces, and in how senior officers decided to deal with them.

The Metropolitan Police recorded the highest number of offences, 25,486, but only 16 officers were convicted of an offence.

In comparison, 251 Greater Manchester officers were photographed by speed cameras and 27 either paid fines or were taken to court (11% of the total);

The RAC Foundation's head of traffic and road safety Kevin Delaney, who was a policeman for 30 years, said:

"It is difficult to explain the huge difference between the Met and Greater Manchester Police, which are both large urban forces with presumably broadly similar numbers of cameras.

"It seems the Met is working from a presumption that every cop who triggers a speed camera must have a good reason to do so. That presumption is the wrong way around."

The PSNI had no comment to make today on the PA figures.

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