London, 13 July 2001.
For immediate release.

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Police Officer With Vision Leads The Way
First Cracks Appear in Police Speed Camera Policy.
In the light of the recent announcement by Scotland Yard's Assistant Commissioner Michael Todd that the expansion of speed cameras in London will be frozen, the ABD would like to be the first to congratulate him on his decision.

Assistant Commissioner Todd has quite rightly identified one of the most serious issues relating to the over-zealous application of speed camera technology in the United Kingdom. Since misguided chief police officers and local authorities declared war on predominantly law abiding, upright, tax-paying citizens and adopted the indiscriminate speed camera as their main weapon of mass prosecution, they have alienated hundreds of thousands of people who would normally be their staunchest supporters. Michael Todd has acknowledged the degree of resentment that this kind of aggressive and predatory law enforcement can engender and the subsequent withdrawal of public co-operation that can result.

Other police authorities would do well to take note before they proceed with their proposed doubling of the number of speed cameras on British roads and trebling of the number of tickets issued to ten million a year. In the past the police have always been able to rely on a largely helpful population that saw them as their protectors. If they continue with their obsessive crusade against the safest drivers in Europe, they will soon cease to be seen as protectors and simply become an oppressive enemy in the eyes of many of their former supporters.

The ABD contends that the British people deserve laws that are applied and policed by trained officers able to use judgement and discretion at all times and calls for a moratorium on speed camera expansion followed by a public debate on the use of automated law enforcement in general.

ABD Chairman Brian Gregory commented:

"Although speed cameras can perform a useful role when used appropriately to reduce speeds at accident blackspots, the wholesale corruption of the concept from road safety to revenue generation makes it essential that we rethink the entire speed camera strategy."
 

Notes for Editors