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View Full Version : Police tactics in Cornwall


yintsinmerite
1st Sep 2005, 18:19
<RANT ON>
Well, just back from a wonderful weekend in Cornwall, in which the police tactic of harvesting the tourist motorist was much in evidence. I am sure that parking a mobile camera, 50yds from the end of a 30mph zone near Camelford made a huge difference to the number of accidents on the roads. (I dont think I was caught btw).

Of course if they really wanted to make a difference they would do something about
1) The 38t milk tankers which thunder up and down single track roads at 50mph +
2) The number of people who still drive while holding their mobiles to their ears 3) The number of people who overtake in completely inappropriate places.
4) Those who consistently undertake and force themselves into gaps left betweeen the cars who are overtaking
5) The number of people who after about 10:30 pm take to the roads having put down 5 or 6 pints (and I saw it happen)

Of course they could also put some police on the streets, then maybe the lads I followed through Padstow on saturday would be less keen to talk about where they got their drugs the previous evening, and how much they paid.

But no, its a much better use of resources to sit a mobile camera at the side of the road and feed the bank balance.

I guess we have the police force we deserve !!

</RANT OFF>

Unwell_Raptor
1st Sep 2005, 18:27
Get a ticket, did we?

Law unfair, is it?

Don't worry, when you really need them they will be there and then you will feel better.

Send Clowns
1st Sep 2005, 18:30
Jump to conclusions, did we, before reading the post we're replying to?

Hilico
1st Sep 2005, 19:38
You're obviously no student of economics, yint. While it's true that speed cameras can't catch people who tailgate, who drive when drunk, who drive at night with their parking lights on, who pull out in front of you, who drive at the normal speed for the road but when there's thick fog, or who have headlights so badly adjusted that they dazzle everyone (to quote just a few examples right off the top of my head)...

...it's much cheaper than putting coppers on the roads.

Hence as tax/rate payers, we should all applaud the authorities' devotion to pecuniary wisdom. To claim otherwise is arrant socialism, which would bring SC out in a rash.

frostbite
1st Sep 2005, 20:05
On Anglia News tonight:

Neighbour dials 999 and reports scrotes breaking into next doors garage.

Police turn up just short of 24hrs later!

Nice one lads.

eal401
1st Sep 2005, 20:53
Speed cameras do not exist for road safety, because they do not prevent speeding. (Speaking as someone who drives along a speed camera location road at the speed limit and see people howl past, slam on at the camera and speed up again. Not one statistic need manipulating for that proof.)

They don't even exist to make money.

They exist to keep the employees of so-called Road Safety Partnerships in work. If speeding was cut to zero, most of them would be out of work. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas after all.

Speed cameras are positioned to boost capture figures, hence positioning as stated in the original post.

In Preston, you'll get caught if you speed on dual carriageways with 50 limits etc. If you are in a busy residential street, you can usually do what you like as there will never be a camera there.

But the pro-camera brigade are so blinkered, they'll never, ever be convinced otherwise.

Astrodome
1st Sep 2005, 22:46
Get a ticket, did we?
Law unfair, is it?
Don't worry, when you really need them they will be there and then you will feel better. The sort of arrogant response one expects from one less well educated than yourself.

It sometimes helps to actually read what the other person has said Unwell Raptor. Your continued dislike of the general motoring public on here suggests a lot.

And you a Magistrate who is supposed to take an impartial view and weigh up all the facts ?

yintsinmerite
1st Sep 2005, 22:56
No, Senor Raptor, as Dr Clowns observed, I did not get a ticket, but I did spend 4 nights sitting in a house 15 yds from a single track road watching 38T of Dairy Crest screaming along at a rate which means they could not have stopped in an emergency. I heard lads in Padstow talking about their drug purchases and I saw some crap driving from mobile phone using dingbats. etc. etc. etc. I also spoke to a women in a pub who told me that a couple of years ago, she heard people prowling around outside her house and the police could not offer any help for more than an hour and because she had a dog, (jack Russel), she would be OK. It was just refreshing to see the presence of a mobile speed camera helping make the world a safer place. Oh, except about 2 years ago, the owners of the garage next to where oit was parked, were shot by gunmen (it made national news) and do you know, there was not a bit of help provided by the speed cameras.

Sham sham sham. Nowt to do with Road Safety, everything to do with revenues. Lets lift the deception

SASless
1st Sep 2005, 23:01
Just a tourist in the UK thus am free to make an observation about speed cameras. Month long visit and it became plain to this set of tired eyes....that speed cameras have absolutely nothing to do with speed control except within sight of the lens. The near misses I saw caused by the lead car jamming brakes on and the following car being caught unawares of the sudden stop for no easy to see reason alone indict the cameras.

Seeing the momentary decrease in speed....while one drives across the yellow stripes then the blast of exhaust smoke as the foot goes into the fan...suggests how silly the whole thing is.

Put Plod into a Panda car....or on a motorbike...or merely stood on the side of the road with a hand held radar....and let him write tickets all day long I say. Let him write tickets for all the violations he sees while patrolling or watching locations of accidents. (Plod does have pin maps or the computer equivalent don't they for identifying high accident intersections...highway segments...right?)

Big Brother is taking over and not doing any good for the money they take off society....pay for the police officer to get out and enforce the law...and make him mobile and unpredictable in his locations...then you are doing something about safety.

:mad:

Unwell_Raptor
1st Sep 2005, 23:08
Yes, I goofed all right, but the conclusions drawn therefrom are, to be succinct. wrong.

Foss
1st Sep 2005, 23:52
Don't know if it's common in UK, but there was a craze here for 100 plus hot hatches to gather in car parks, do doughnuts, compare stereos, number plates etc etc.

Peelers (police) blocked off the carpark and nicked the lot of them.
hurrah.

Just one thing, if you go to the country, you've got to expect milk lorrys and tractors and horses and cows on the road. Cow may only be doing 4mph, but if you hit it at 30mph (within the speed limit), it'll still probably end up on the back seat.

Fos

ComJam
1st Sep 2005, 23:58
Foss, what exactly did they "nick" them all for? .......Having a car? Driving? Owning a car stereo? Illegal use of a car park??

I don't condone large groups of Hot-hatch owning Chavs tearing up and down the local high street, but if these guys (and girls) want to get together to compare Clio's and stereo's in a CAR park i really don't see the problem. Wouldn't it be boring if we all drove Mondeos....

Main point....

These so called "safety cameras" have nothing whatsoever to do with making our roads safer, they simply exist as a further tax on the already totally over-taxed British motorist.

I have personally witnessed two road accidents caused by the positioning of mobile camera's in vans at the road-side, on both occasions the drivers ahead saw the van late, braked very heavily, one lost control of his car and hit the central reservation the other was rear-ended by a vehicle that, while sitting fairly close, certainly wasn't tailgating.

The increase in these cheap to run camera's has directly led to a decrease in the number of "traffic" officers on the road and has further degraded the relationship between the motorist and the Police, I am now left with little or no respect for officers of constabularies who use, so called Safety Partnerships, "safety cameras" and "Talivans" to boost their income.

Interesting link:

http://www.abd.org.uk

ShyTorque
2nd Sep 2005, 01:57
I recently noticed something about parking tickets. In the town nearest my home, if you park in a council pay and display car park and are a few minutes overdue, you are very likely to get a parking penalty. The yellow-banded ticket slapping flunkies see to that.

However, if you park illegally on the public highway just ten yards away, your car never gets a second glance. Much better if you want to overstay your allowed time and completely free of charge.

Tell me - where is the road safety factor there?

We pay 75% of the cost of fuel burned in tax to travel to the place where one can park in a place owned by the council (and pay tax on that), shop in a place owned by government who obtain tax from shop rents and get us to pay more tax on goods purchased and more fuel tax to go home again. By staying longer to spend more on tax (to fill governent coffers for this week's silly project involving undeserving causes) we return to our cars to find even more tax owing.

As for cameras, I now can only nod in understanding each time I see another road tax revenue camera, or "road safety camera" as I think they now prefer to call them, burned out by the locals.

They have gone too far with them. When we all have twelve points and revenue income drops, what will they tax next? Farting too loudly? :rolleyes:

eal401
2nd Sep 2005, 06:52
but if these guys (and girls) want to get together to compare Clio's and stereo's in a CAR park i really don't see the problem.
I do. They used to gather in the car park by McDonalds in Leyland until it got closed off at night. Now they use the car park at the 24 hour Tesco. They park playing music loudly near where there are houses, or scream up and down the car park roads at 50-odd mph.

Tesco don't seem in the slightest bit bothered and neither do the occupants of the large building opposite labelled "Police Station."

At the end of the day, if someone's idea of a night out consists of sitting in a car park with a vehicle they have spent 2000 reducing the value of, they only deserve pity IMO.

yintsinmerite
2nd Sep 2005, 07:57
but the conclusions drawn therefrom are, to be succinct. wrong

And those conclusions are ??

To my mind, it is that putting more police on the streets or actually available in cars to deal with real offences would make a significantly greater contribution to road and personal safety, rather than sticking a camera van where it can just nick a few hundred people for a technical offence.

Camera's have a place - stick them outside every school and lower the speed limits there to 20mph. They can then make a real contribution to road safety .

Vankem Spankfaart
2nd Sep 2005, 08:15
ooooooOOOOooooo - it's a speed camera thread, ain't had one of them for a while.

V
:\

newswatcher
2nd Sep 2005, 08:52
50yds from the end of a 30mph zone Yint, was that "inside" or "outside" the zone? If inside, guess it would catch those people who don't bother to slow down until the sign is passed.

How is a speed limit set? Is it a random process, or supported by accident statistics? If someone deems it necessary, is the average motorist sufficiently experienced in this area to challenge this decision? Once set, how should it be monitored? IMHO not much point in setting a limit and then "allowing" people to exceed it. "Unfortunately", the limit will apply to an entire stretch of road, not just those spots where its application may have significant benefits. Guess most drivers will speed on the perceived "safer" bits, and not slow down where it matters.

On a similar theme, we have campaigned for years to get a "controlled" crossing on a 30mph road through a residential area, where many parents cross to gain access to the local school. Currently "protected" twice daily with flashing amber lights. Although the 30mph limit is exceeded, as evidenced on the "rare" occasion where speed cameras are brought in, apparently we don't qualify for such a crossing, since the traffic levels (averaged over the full 24 hrs) do not justify this!
:mad:

yintsinmerite
2nd Sep 2005, 09:14
It was 50yds from the end of the zone.

How are speed limits set? That's a good question and not one I can answer. Certainly if you compare similar roads in terms of amount of traffic, how near footpaths are, how wide etc. one cannot help coming to the conclusion that they are set with the help of a random number generator.

When I started this thread, it was as a rant about the fact that in Cornwall, real policeing, involving people on the street (I saw none in 4 days around Padstow) and police in cars on the roads (1 on saturday evening at about 19:00), appears to have been abandoned while attention is given to just raising money with the mobile camera. I am not knocking speed camera's per say, I just would like real policeing and no camera's save lives sham.

Send Clowns
2nd Sep 2005, 09:15
Unwell

I suggest that the cases stated here, and our common experience, shows that your conclusion is wrong. The police are not always there when needed.

I must admit that they were fairly quick when someone tried to glass me last week in the pub, although the staff had called them a few minutes before and did not get there until after I had thrown him out of the pub with the help of a stranger. However they were not as quick as I would have liked to see, and did not even come in to ask what sort of trouble had been caused, so didn't know he had been violent. Not criticising the individuals, as they were probably too busy, but the system. Too much paperwork, too much pointless caution required, making them too busy to do their real job. I have a brother in the police, and know many of the frustrations heaped upon them.

Foss
2nd Sep 2005, 09:18
Comjam
I wrote a lengthy reply, but lost the connection and the post.

They were using the landscaped carpark as a race track, using the seafront and the town centre one way system as a race track. Cars were going through shop windows and through railings.

They were mostly done for minor offences, no seatbelt, no tax, failure to produce documents, speeding, careless driving etc.

Fos

flybhx
2nd Sep 2005, 09:52
To my mind, it is that putting more police on the streets or actually available in cars to deal with real offences would make a significantly greater contribution to road and personal safety, rather than sticking a camera van where it can just nick a few hundred people for a technical offence.

I doubt that the Police would disagree with you.
The problem is that they cost money. More Police = higher taxes.
The Government aren't going to cut back on their handouts to all and sundry in any country except the UK and certainly not on their trips on expenses which leaves us taxpayers to pick up the cost of any extra officers.

ComJam
2nd Sep 2005, 10:57
Foss, fair enough.

On another driving point....having just had the mis-fortune to catch an episode of "Mirror Signal Manoeuver" on the Beeb this morning (own fault i know) I'm at a loss to explain what the presenter thinks is so funny about a 72 year old man sitting his 8th test in 2 years. Cleary he no longer has the ability to drive safely and should therefore not be allowed loose on the road.

Also, it appears to be hilarious that at least two of the other driving students shown are completely incapable of using a motor vehicle safely despite numerous lessons and attempted tests. This ISN'T funny, these people will be a real danger if they ever manage to "fluke" their way through a test by having, quote, "A good day in the car"!!

:mad:

eal401
2nd Sep 2005, 11:43
Is it a random process, or supported by accident statistics?
While it isn't the former, it certainly isn't the latter.

Guess most drivers will speed on the perceived "safer" bits, and not slow down where it matters.
Yeah, and the latter is where the cameras will NOT be. Or is that just Preston?

C130 Techie
2nd Sep 2005, 11:51
You mentioned tractors earlier. Are these the properly lit, insured and roadworthy ones or the ones I see every day without lights, indicators or mirrors and towing all manner of appliances/trailers spilling [email protected] all over the road

frostbite
2nd Sep 2005, 11:58
"having just had the mis-fortune to catch an episode of "Mirror Signal Manoeuver" on the Beeb"

You have my sympathy! A truly dire programme with arguably the worst, patronising, presenter imaginable.

Curious Pax
2nd Sep 2005, 12:09
Have to agree with SC about the police process being wrong headed some of the time. Had a breakin a few months ago, and their response was exemplary (5 minutes, although not quite quick enough to catch the scrotes), but the uniform PC who was first there, having waited 20 minutes for me to get over from work, then had to plough through a 4 page A4 statement with me, all handwritten by him. The information I gave him (confirming that I gave no one permission to break in and nick my TV, the model, and the time I left for work that morning having switched on the burglar alarm) would have filled about 3 lines. I was astonished that whereas the gas man turns up with a slim briefcase containing a laptop and printer, and takes seconds to produce you a bill once he's fixed your boiler, poor old PC Plod is wasting time wearing out his biro. The chap didn't take much convincing it has to be said!

I vaguely remember reading somewhere in the last few day that one of the biggest problems with present day policing is that it has slowly evolved over the last 150 years, and so there is a mountain of processes and procedures that are there for historical reasons and no other. The author suggested that in the unlikely event of being allowed to start again with a blank sheet, policing in the UK could be twice as effective but cheaper than it is now. I have some sympathy with that argument.

Burnt Fishtrousers
2nd Sep 2005, 12:55
Not wishing to bash the Polis too much as they seem to be doing a reasonable job ( not withstanding shooting innocents of course) at curbing the terorists but in this B liar ite era its all about stats and getting figures up to look good at the annual Cheif Supers meetings

If youve got a nice juicy stretch of dual carriageway out in the country where there are no houses schools etc why not slap a 50 on it and then at the end of the month when officers have to boost their figures go park a camera there..

I these days of handheld PCs etc theres no excuse why plod have to take their note book get out their crayon ..fill out forms...go back to the station etc etc etc

They should be able to type all the information into the hand held , send it as an e mail and some civvy do the rest leaving them time to do their jobs ie Police not admin
Its th esam ewith the legal profession , the judiciary and other old institutions who are scared of change as it upsets the status quo

Only thing is , that would mean the Govt procuring a new system for the Police and you know how incredibly efficient the Govt are at heading up large IT projects, lead by civil servants instead of experts....still its only tax payers money

eal401
2nd Sep 2005, 13:07
If youve got a nice juicy stretch of dual carriageway out in the country where there are no houses schools etc why not slap a 50 on it and then at the end of the month when officers have to boost their figures go park a camera there..
Or keeps the Speed Partnership quango's employee's bills paid.

And gives the stats to PROVE that there are EVIL SPEEDERS risking LIVES*. (Although to be fair, once every few months they'll catch someone speeding by more than 5mph!)

*The minor detail that those who do get killed on the roads are nowhere near any speed camera sails neatly over their heads.

allan907
2nd Sep 2005, 16:09
The problem with police note books is that they are used as primary evidence. Handwritten notes cannot be altered (or if they are can, in most instances, be detected); a lap top and a screed written in MSWord can be altered by anyone (including the arresting officer to make the report fit the circumstances etc).

bjcc
2nd Sep 2005, 16:56
EAL401

Painful though it is, I agree with you about Leyland Tescos...My daughter lives about 100 yards from there(although she being 8 probably thinks that the free car show is great), having just spoken to her mother, it is becoming a problem. Why the Police don't get involved I have no idea, not ever having been in Lancs Pol.

The issue of old processes and poccedures isn't an issue, it is the NEW proccess etc that are causing the problem.

An example. Crime reports in London when I joined where paper based, you could knock one out in about 5 minutes, if you were slow.

Then arrived the computer crime reporting system....Wonderful...30 minutes to put a crime on the bloody thing, god knows how much irelevent stats information..and for the next 2 weeks it spits out requests for updates, follow ups etc...Mostly unnesesery.

We had a computer dispatch system that wasn't brillient, but it worked, which then became bogged down with stats information, like time of arrival of first officers.

Stop someone and instead of a small fag packet size slip, you now have to write a book!

Yes computers to write statements are a good idea, but along with everything else you have to cart round as a police officer it would be impractical. Besides a writen statement, with a few initialed mistakes as well as signed by the person it is taken from is much more difficult to change and therefore be disputed by defence barristers.

I should say at this point that I don't agree with speed cameras. But thier existance actualy frees up police officers. They are adminstered by civilians and there is almost zero court time and cost involved.

However, instead of complimenting police patrols they do seem to have been used to reduce them.

The damands these days on police, who are the dumping ground for eveything no one else wants to deal with are high, but the investment doesn't match that demand.

Police pay in comparison to the responsibility they hold (Who else apart from the forces give thier employees the responsibity to decide if they should kill somoeone) is very low. (for example a NATS Air Traffic Control Assistant gets more than a top rate PC)

Like the song says a policemans lot is not a happy one...So don't slate them! The ones you meet don't make the policy, or have any part in it...They do however have to carry it out, and do to the best of thier ability.

GROUNDHOG
2nd Sep 2005, 19:08
Well Yint, first of all I think you will find the thread should have been titled Police Tactics as opposed to ....in Cornwall, though I am glad you enjoyed your weekend here.

The local force is actually the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and we have one of the lowest crime rates in the UK.

Padstow is not known as having a drugs problem, though I am sure there are drugs there, as everywhere, I suspect if you had been in Plymouth ( Devon) or Penzance you may have seen a different Police presence.

In the years I have lived here I can't recall any accident involving speeding milk lorries but I promise you every week someone, often on a motorbike is killed through excess speed. ( I used to race cars so am not averse to going fast in the right place)

I would be interested to know as well how the cameras are rigged to distinguish the fleeced tourist from the locals - or do they just let anyone with a WK or WL plate off?

See where you are coming from on this issue but slagging off the local Constabulary isn't the answer'

yintsinmerite
2nd Sep 2005, 19:38
See where you are coming from on this issue but slagging off the local Constabulary isn't the answer

You are right, it is not the answer but what other answer is there. From my perspective I see what obviously is blatant harvesting of tourists in a county which appears to have little other police presence to deal with real issues. As for Dairy Crest, try sitting near the road which runs through Warbstow and see just how fast those things go (my estimate is 45+) on a road which has room for one of those and nothing else.

As for Padstow not having any particular drug problem - good, however the fact that lads are happy to walk around opening discussing where they scored from, how much and when they will go again, does not reflect well on the police. They know they have no chance of being caught because they have no police to worry about.

As someone else points out, the police cost money and that equates to more taxes etc. In Cornwall which has a higher population of outsiders in the summer, they are probably valid to surcharge the tourist, but why dress it up as a safety measure. It would be far better to just charge each tourist car a charge as a contribution to making the county safer except, of course, they would then have to have a presence which in North Cornwall, they just do not.

No, it's better to take the easy route of claiming to 'save lives on roads' with no obligation to give anything back

phnuff
3rd Sep 2005, 17:42
A bit off topic but ...I have just driven through 3 speed camera's at 30 mph. Behind me was a women driving a Rover 600. She was too close behind and swerving from side to side. I then realised that the reason she was swerving was that she was swigging from what looked like a wine bottle. I know it is not conclusive proof that she was drunk, but in all likelyhood, she was.

Multiple choice question. Just how much safety did the presence of the camera's contribute?

a) 100%
b) 50%
c) Sod all but they have paid for themselves several times over

GROUNDHOG
4th Sep 2005, 08:05
Yint - May I suggest 'what other answer is there' includes...

e mail the Transport Manager of DairyCrest on [email protected] and point out his drivers are behaving like lunatics if you believe they are a danger to others.

Pass on to your local Police (or ring Padstow) any information you overheard re drugs that might be useful to them.

Drive within the speed limit then you won't have to worry about getting caught.

Why on earth would the County wish to tax the 99.9% of tourists that come here and are perfectly law abiding. Do you seriously think locals get away with breaking the law?

Your post against speed cameras in general has an argument, in all other respects you do not so I am not even going to debate it with you further.

yintsinmerite
4th Sep 2005, 08:41
e mail the Transport Manager of DairyCrest on [email protected] and point out his drivers are behaving like lunatics if you believe they are a danger to others.

Good suggestion - will be done



Pass on to your local Police (or ring Padstow) any information you overheard re drugs that might be useful to them.

Less sure on this one. Will think on it

Drive within the speed limit then you won't have to worry about getting caught.
Ever since a run in with Manchester constabulary 6 or 7 years ago, I do. Caught by a policeman in a car which gave us the chance to discuss it - unlike those mugged by camera

Do you seriously think locals get away with breaking the law?

Yes I do, in particular with respect to drink driving. As with any country area with insufficent police, it still goes on.

As for the tax on holiday makers - there is little difference between the idea and the successful congestion charge in London. At least it would be an honest tax unlike the parking of a van to harvest motorists, but honesty is something which is long gone in the whole speed camera debate

eal401
4th Sep 2005, 09:17
phnuff, having seen drivers go past speed cameras whilst holding a mobile phone, I choose c). :p

CUNIM
4th Sep 2005, 16:53
I report police cars exceeding the speed limit on the motorways as they are often in the outside overtaking lane doing 80 - 85 mph - no blues and twos showing - just bullying everyone out of their way as if they owned the road. Done it a few times and will continue to do so as long as they seem to rely exclusively on their speed paranoia.

Fancy having a speed check on a bridge in heavy rain and poor visibility. I was well back but the drivers in front were having real problems. Silly road safety chap could have caused a real accident.