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Backlash against CC Bangham's zero tolerance to speeding speech


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He urged roads policing officers to focus on enforcement over education.

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham


The national lead for roads policing has been lambasted for suggesting drivers who break the speed limit by even one mile per hour should be punished.

West Mercia Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for roads policing, told the roads policing conference on Tuesday he doesn’t want to hear drivers “whinging” for being ticketed for speeding just over the limit and called for a renewed focus on enforcement over education.

“I would suggest our emphasis for some years has lost sight of the core role of policing and has started to convince the public that we should more routinely educate them.

“We should not be embarrassed about it, we should not seek to justify it. We should be comfortable that it is everbody’s role and I want to change the attitude of the public and some of the media.

“We should never ever be apologetic or seek to apologise for issuing a speeding ticket,” he said at the conference.

But West Midlands Police Chief Constable David Thompson disagreed with Mr Bangham's criticism of speed awareness courses, arguing they are "very successful" and admitted having attended one himself.

Mr Thompson said: "My view is we're not soft on drivers and actually if you do commit a speeding offence, you do go on a diversionary scheme - a driving awareness course.

"I want to look at the evidence that's put forward whether doing more enforcement is the right thing and it's going to reduce (the number of people) killed and serious accidents."

Greater Manchester Police Federation Chairman Ian Hanson said CC Bangham’s comments showed a “woeful lack of understanding of the relationship between the motoring public and the police.”

He said: “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."

He added: “So Mr Bangham wants everyone who speeds one mph over the limit prosecuting – well I would throw down the challenge to him as to how are we going to do that?

“We have lost more than 21,000 police officers from our numbers across England and Wales since 2010 and we can barely keep even the most basic numbers of police officers on the streets to deal with ever rising crime figures and the threat from terrorism.

“Mr Bangham says that motorists should stop `whingeing`… but if I got a speeding ticket in his home force of West Mercia for doing one mile an hour over the speed limit I think I would have a lot to whinge about.”

GMP lead for Roads Policing Temporary Chief Inspector Tariq Butt tweeted that “this won’t happen in Greater Manchester whilst I lead on roads policing.”


Nick Freeman, a leading traffic lawyer dubbed Mr Loophole, said: "Mr Bangham is trying to criminalise hard-working people struggling to get from A to B on the country's congested roads network.

"Speedometers can be inaccurate and so can speed cameras. That's why the police introduced a tolerance level.

"Drivers are now becoming so obsessed with looking at their speedometers they are failing to concentrate on the road ahead, which is leading to accidents.

"However, for the police, motorists are an easy target and, as everything is now done robotically by camera, officers are rarely seen on the roads."

But road safety campaigners supported the proposals, saying that driving faster than speed limits is dangerous.

Rod King, founder of the 20's Plenty for Us group, said: "Where there's a buffer you have effectively changed the speed limit.

"If you are going 35 in a 30mph zone, then you are breaking the law - that's it."

When Police Oracle asked if CC Bangham would like to respond to Mr Hansom’s comments we were directed to a statement on the NPCC website from CC Bangham.  

He said: “I want us to do more to proactively detect people driving using a mobile or speeding on high harm routes, and be clear that they can expect to be stopped and could receive the full penalty.

“As an example, anything from 31mph onwards is over the speed limit and the options for a police response – a speed awareness course, fixed penalty notice or attendance at court – are discretionary based on the circumstances.  My message to drivers is - don’t assume you have a free pass if you’re over the limit.

“Police chiefs and Police and Crime Commissioners make decisions about local priorities, including roads policing.   Officer discretion and common-sense will remain at the centre of roads policing and there will still be an important place for educational courses to improve driving standards.”

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There was a suggestion that since the speed limit for larger vehicle was raised from 40 to 50 on A class roads that the number of offenders  and therefore tickets issued and courses attended had dropped drastically (relatively), and perhaps lowering the prosecution threshold is  a means to ensure maintaining of revenues for the awareness companies.  Oh, should we wonder how many ex-police, ex-roads policing and upper rank ex-police  are involved in the awareness providers service!

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If I can't use my speedometer in my vehicle to accurately gauge the speed of another vehicle for a prosecution then I can't see how its reasonable to do people for going one mile over. 

Or will it only be for speed cameras and traffic cars to gauge? 

Seems a little off. You were Speeding according to my device that's significantly more accurate than the one you have to gauge speed. 

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As I mentioned in another post...I take issue with traffic cars using anything other than the distance time calculation...with dashcam footage there are more and more examples popping up of people being booked for speeding from radar who are innocent.

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