London, 26 Jan 2005.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Plane Stupidity
The Association of British Drivers has condemned Northumbria Police for wasting police resources when they used a spotter plane and helicopter to assist in the nonsensical prosecution of a nursery nurse.
Police brought a prosecution against Miss Sarah McCaffery for holding a apple whilst she drove, but when she pleaded not guilty, they decided to teach her a lesson by using a spotter plane and a helicopter to film a police car as it drove along the same road.
Police have claimed the expense of operating the aircraft was only £66, but an reliable source told the ABD such aircraft cost between two and three thousand pounds per hour.
ABD Spokesman Nigel Humphries said:
"This is plane stupidity. It's wrong that the police brought the prosecution, and equally wrong that Miss McCaffery was convicted when there was no proper evidence that she had failed to control her vehicle properly."
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
"Northumbria police need to think about what laws are for and show some intelligence in enforcing them. This force has a history of absurd prosecutions against motorists based on finding new ways to use the letter of the law to catch people out*. They need to learn to police by consent."

* Rigidly enforcing the 40mph limit for trucks on a high quality but single carriageway section of the A1 causing increased danger from overtaking
* Prosecuting a van driver in a 3.5 tonne Mercedes van for not having a tachograph because his vehicle had a towbar and therefore had the potential to be over 3.5 tonnes.



Notes for Editors