Police Chiefs Want War
The Association of British Drivers has condemned proposals for speed cameras to be outsourced to private companies. 1
The proposal has been made by Mick Giannasi, Head of Roads Policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) 2
; he is also chief constable of Gwent Police 3
Between 2001 and 2007, drivers in Britain had to put up with the infamous anti-driver fanaticism of Richard Brunstrom, then chief constable of North Wales, in this role. Succeeding Brunstrom was Steve Green, chief constable of Nottinghamshire. Mr Green did so little to antagonise drivers in his year in the role that most never even noticed him. Sadly, ACPO now seem to have appointed another fanatic to the role, or perhaps these people appoint themselves, and other chief constables are too weak or oblivious to stop them. We assume that Mr Green failed to be noticed in the role because he was busy dealing with criminals in Nottinghamshire. Mr Giannasi on the other hand, like Brunstrom, seems to have too much time on his hands.
Giannasi has proposed that existing speed cameras should be sold to private companies who would then be allowed to issue tickets and collect fines. There's no doubt they'd be allowed to install new cameras in profitable locations too.
This is how speed cameras are operated in the USA, which has led to widespread anger, with members of the public hunting down speed camera vans to obstruct them, and sheriffs and even state governors publicly condemning their usage 4 5
Giannasi's proposal has also been condemned by the Police Federation who represent rank and file police officers. They can wisely see what damage it would do to the relationship between the public and the police, and to public respect for the law.
ABD Spokesman Nigel Humphries said:
“The government has promised to end the war on the motorist, but clearly Mick Giannasi doesn't agree, and has decided to become a rogue unit.”
The ABD calls upon the Home Secretary to review the way police forces in Wales are organised as it is apparent that some chief constables there have far too much spare time on their hands. We also call upon him to review the role of the Association of Chief Police Officers, and whether chief constables, who are unelected civil servants, should be allowed to form their own profit-making private company, exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, and partly funded by the Home Office. ACPO also operates a private firm which provides training to speed camera operators 6
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
“Policing strategy should be decided by our elected representatives, not by chief constables with an eye on profit and future employment opportunities.”