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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 14:08 
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http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/viewa ... ?id=513768

‘Snooping on website waste of police time’

Published on 26/06/2007

No looking: Cumbria police have revealed they monitor pepipoo.com to secure successful convictions against speeding motorists in court

By Daniel Cattanach

A ROAD safety campaign group has slammed Cumbria police for spying on users of a website which offers drivers advice on fighting speeding offences.

The constabulary revealed to the News & Star last week that it regularly monitors PePiPoo.com to secure successful convictions against speeding motorists in court.

However the Safe Speed road safety campaign says police resources could be better used on watching out for bad driving on the roads rather than snooping on drivers who consult the site.

The national pressure group has also launched a campaign this week calling for the scrapping of speed cameras – which it says do not make roads safer – and has a petition to that effect on the 10 Downing Street website with more than 26,000 signatures.

Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign, said: “Police officers seem to go to the ends of the earth to get speeding convictions in court.

“It doesn’t seem like the best way to use police time – trying to catch people out.

“We would be so much better off if they were at the side of the road looking at bad driving.”

But Steve Callaghan, safety camera manager for Cumbria police, disputed the suggestion that the work of his department was a waste of resources.

He said: “The Safety Camera Partnership hasn’t impacted on any police time at all as we don’t use police officers to do our enforcement.

“Our staff are police support staff. The police are still out there doing what Mr Smith is suggesting so no police officers have been removed from their normal road safety and road policing activities.

“We actually enhance their function rather than reduce it.”

However Mr Smith said he believed the policy of using speed cameras was failing in its mission of making the roads safer.

He said: “They have just been a distraction from the things that really matter in road safety. We are paying more attention to cameras and speed limit signs and less attention to the road ahead. There’s nothing wrong with speed limits but we shouldn’t become obsessed with them.

Mr Callaghan dismissed the suggestion that drivers being distracted by speed cameras had led to an increased risk on the roads.

Nevertheless, Mr Smith believes a more effective way of making the roads safer would be a combination of points, fines, driver training or even just having an authoritative word with the motorist by the side of the road – an approach taken with Mr Smith when he was a young man which he says has stuck with him 30 years on.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Last edited by SafeSpeed on Thu Jun 28, 2007 13:05, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 16:53 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
But Steve Callaghan, safety camera manager for Cumbria police, disputed the suggestion that the work of his department was a waste of resources.

He said: “The Safety Camera Partnership hasn’t impacted on any police time at all as we don’t use police officers to do our enforcement.

“Our staff are police support staff. The police are still out there doing what Mr Smith is suggesting so no police officers have been removed from their normal road safety and road policing activities.


Are they volunteer staff? No. So surely they are taking up police resources (money), and without them we could have more police officers.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 16:58 
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So the snooping's a waste of time, the staff are a waste of money, and Callaghan's a waste of space. Dandy. :oops:


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