Reports yesterday that 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 have been condemned by the head of the Greater Manchester Police Federation.
Responding to the call that motorists should face prosecution if they are even just 1 mile an hour over the limit, Ian Hanson said that:
“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.”
“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.
Mr Bangham, who is the National Police Chiefs Council lead on road policing, added that drivers caught speeding should “not come whinging to us about” it.
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.” says Mr Hanson
In a statement later released by the Chief Constable clarifying his comments he said:
“The police have a significant role to play in enforcing the law and we are the single agency who have the ability to do so. Speaking at a national conference yesterday as the national lead for roads policing I and colleagues debated how we could further protect people on our roads. No decisions were taken but we did consider options for how to reduce speeding. I am clear that in my force of West Mercia Police I want to do everything possible to make our roads safer.”