Another Police Chief Condemns Camera Partnerships
Camera Partnerships Must be Disbanded Now, says ABD
As the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police becomes the latest senior police figure to publicly distance himself from the camera partnerships, the ABD calls for these self-serving institutions to be disbanded.
Speaking to announce his retirement later this year, Mike Hedges said police had lost the argument on speed cameras, and that the huge number of prosecutions had caused the loss of a tremendous amount of goodwill from the public.
In particular, he condemned the "hypothecation" scheme, which allows some of the fine money to be used to fund the speed camera partnerships — new bureaucracies made up of local councils, police, health authorities and magistrates.
ABD chairman Brian Gregory commented:
"The Chief Constable has vindicated what the ABD has been saying for many years. The hypothecation scheme has been a completely predictable disaster. As soon as the speed camera partnerships were allowed to keep the money for their grandiose empire building, it was obvious that the public would lose confidence in the schemes."
Of even greater concern is the safety record of several of the earliest camera partnerships. In Thames Valley, Essex, Lincolnshire and Northants, road deaths have increased markedly in 2003, in some cases there have been steady increases in deaths since the partnerships started.
Again, the ABD is not surprised. The diversion of police resources away from catching dangerous and drunken drivers, combined with a loss of public confidence in the credibility of road safety policy is a lethal combination.
The ABD calls for a return to the sensible, credible speed limit setting and enforcement policies, which are proven to save lives. This cannot happen whilst the camera partnerships exist.
Quotes from Chief Constable Hedges' address:
On camera partnerships:
"I think that the biggest mistake we have made is getting some money back. I believe that we have lost a tremendous amount of goodwill."
"There is a place for them, but I think we have lost the argument on that. I think the police service has suffered some really serious confidence problems, and lost support from the public as a result."