Jump to content

Millions of pounds worth of traffic offence tickets cancelled by tri-force


Recommended Posts

Thousands of tickets voided every year.

Millions of pounds worth of traffic offence tickets cancelled by tri-force


Date - 19th September 2018
By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle


Hundreds of thousands of pounds every year in revenue from traffic offences are being lost in one tri-force because of staffing problems and administrative errors, an informed insider claimed. 

A Police Oracle Freedom of Information request revealed the combined Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire cameras, tickets and collisions unit cancelled 20,869 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) and traffic offence reports (TORs) between 2012 and 2017.

Another 7,029 Notices of Intended Prosecutions were cancelled or not processed over the same period.

Last year 1,908 FPNs and TORs were voided across the three forces.

FPNs can be issued for between £50 and £300 depending on the severity of the offence. It is estimated the unit has missed out on between £1,043,450 and £6,260,700 over five years or an average of at least £208,690 per year *. 

An informed insider who asked not to be named told Police Oracle the complaints have been made to all three chief constables numerous times but the situation has not improved.

“It is simply because they do not have the staff.

“I’m not talking about people driving at 35 in a 30 [mph] zone. It is often serious offences - people doing 85 through a village, people using their mobile phones while driving, people driving without a licence. I honestly don’t know how anyone can say they can concentrate while using a mobile.

“It is immensely frustrating and as far as I’m aware still ongoing. Courts are regularly refusing prosecutions because they are out of time or there are basic errors or the officer does not turn up.

“Police officers spent a huge amount of time trying to keep the roads safe and it’s frustrating to see their efforts go to waste.”

Reasons for cancellation included time limit exceeded, issuing officer resigned, stolen or false plates, tickets issued to emergency vehicle, court declines to proceed and operator error.

Police Oracle requested data about how many prosecutions were rejected by the courts and what reasons were given but our reporter was told to contact the Crown Prosecution Service.

We contacted both the CPS and Ministry of Justice, and both departments referred this website to each other.

Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire have almost halved the number of FPN and TOR cancellations between 2012 and 2017 (down from 1,062 to 593 in Hertfordshire and 1,213 to 787 in Hertfordshire) but risen dramatically in Bedfordshire.

Befordshire police wrote off 132 TORs and FPNs in 2012, rocketing to 528 last year. It should be noted, however, the number of cancellations has reduced since a spike of 753 in 2014.

A spokesman for the Cameras, Tickets and Collisions department said: “Last year we issued approximately 170,000 notices of intended prosecution (NIPS) across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. These covered road traffic offences such as speeding and using a mobile phone whilst driving.

“The figures for the number of cancellations represent less than one per cent of NIPs issued and there are a wide variety of reasons for cancellations.

“We are constantly looking to improve the processes involved in dealing with such a large quantity of offences in an effort to reduce the number of avoidable cancellations.

“We take motoring offences incredibly seriously and work hard to prosecute those people who choose to risk their lives, and those of other innocent road users, by ignoring legislation that is in place to keep people safe.”

In June Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway told her local police and crime panel meeting Hertfordshire PCC David Lloyd is to take over responsibility for the unit as Hertfordshire invests more money into the tri-force arrangements.

The decision was reached during a two-day conference of PCCs and chief constables to discuss merging Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police forces.

Ms Holloway told the meeting the proposal was “rejected entirely” because of Luton’s high crime rates.

FPNs and TORs were provided to Police Oracle as a combined figure. Our estimation assumes all FPNs and TORs would have resulted in a fine of at least £50. 

View On Police Orcle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...