Speed cameras used to rake in fines rather than stop crashes, police watchdog claims
16 July 2020, 13:32 | Updated: 16 July 2020, 13:38
The report claims that locations for speed cameras are being specifically chosen to increase revenue from fines.
Speed cameras are being used to 'increase revenue' from fines rather than stop accidents, the police watchdog has claimed.
It was reported that some locations for the cameras were chosen specifically because they are 'good hunting grounds' for fines, and that cameras may be prioritised over road safety education.
The report was conducted by the Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, and said, according to the MailOnline: "Apparent unwillingness to support education over enforcement had led to suspicion among officers, including some at chief officer level, that the focus of activity was intended to increase revenue for the safety partnership.
"They gave examples of some camera sites that they believed didn't have a history of collisions or other identified vulnerabilities.
"Elsewhere, we were told that the reason enforcement took place at certain locations was that they were 'good hunting grounds', rather than because they had a history of collisions."
According to the Mail, the report also adds that come police forces had set up community speedwatch schemes aiming to change driver behaviour without prosecution.
These can involve volunteers using a radar gun to catch speeders, who can then be issued with a warning letter or fine.
The report says that these initiatives have been blocked by safety camera partnerships so that they could continue to send out speeding tickets.
It adds: "We found examples where the use of partnership enforcement activity appeared to be in direct conflict with the development of a speedwatch scheme.
"In one force area, a safety partnership agreement prevented local speedwatch schemes from operating on roads where the safety partnership deployed mobile speed enforcement cameras.
"Forces and their partners need to make sure that there is transparency over how and where cameras are located.
"There are already government guidelines on this issue, but we believe that these should be refreshed to include a requirement for publication of what revenue is raised and how it is spent."
The number of speeding tickets issued in England and Wales was 2.3million in 2018, up from 1.6million in 2011.
The National Police Chiefs' Council lead for roads policing Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: "We will carefully consider the recommendations made by HMICFRS."