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Driving At 159mph Is Safe

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Driving At 159mph Is Safe

Old 23rd Sep 2006, 16:18
  #301 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Allan, thanks for the memo! As a humble shift copper rest assured that our voice is NOT being heard despite pleas to the educated idiots that govern us.Moral is at an all time low on my shift due to the state of things but most of us really are trying to speak out. As stated before we have no union as we are not allowed one by law and are not allowed to strike and so forth. The job is now unrecognisable to what it was and "discretion" has become a dirty word to management. Yesterday we had a supervisor (non-active) come in to tell us that we were not working hard enough to get "detections" which simply are people charged,reported or ticketed and that we needed to work harder to get these figures up. The management doesn't care if these people are guilty or not, or would benefit from words of advice etc. There are many, many occasions where officers deal with situations in a way that most people of the public would find acceptable but that don't increase our performance figures and when we do this we risk an ass-chewing if found out. Example, 2 schoolkids fighting at a bus stop. Management want us to arrest both of them so that we can give 2 reprimands, hence 2 lovely "detections". How many of us do you think would actually do that? More likely the write-off over the radio (after suitably bollocking the kids) would be "Verbal argument, no offences disclosed" risking us being disciplined if found out. The system cares little for people and lots for performance indicators.
Every few weeks or so my shift has a meeting with supervisors which always ends up in a slanging match between "them and us" with us trying to get things changed but rarely being listened to, hence the dive in moral. I can only speak for myself but i recently was told to arrest an 80 year old woman due to allegations from a neighbour of harassment. I investigated further and found a history of trouble between the 2 households starting with the building of an extension. I went to tell the aggreived that I was going to arrest the woman to which they were horrified saying "we dont want an old woman arrested!!" The guidelines say arrest! it gets the figures up. I refused and made my feelings clear. The job was then passed to the local beat officer who dealt with it as it should have been..a neighbourly dispute. I stated that I would resign rather than stand in front of the custody sergeant with an old lady on a flimsy allegation from people who wanted to use us as a weapon.
Sorry to go on about my tales of woe, after all I am still in the job but believe me where I am we are fighting tooth and nail to change the way things are for the victims of crime and the ones who are plainly intent on advancing themselves are in the great minority and are very obvious.
Just to get back on topic a little, I have only ever issued one traffic ticket..to a driver on a mobile phone who nearly hit us in a marked police car who susbsequently denied using it. Suitable words of advice proffered , only for him to pick it up again when he thought I couldn't see. I think i will start noting down the times I use my discretion as well as when I arrest/issue tickets!
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Old 24th Sep 2006, 02:15
  #302 (permalink)  
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Beethoven. What a great post - and it puts a whole lot of things into perspective. It is, as I always thought, a matter of keeping the stats up. Was/is it the fault of 'fast track' graduate entrants to the upper levels?

Perhaps if bjcc et al had written a well thought out and non-confrontational post such as this then perhaps we might not have had x thousands of pages of accusations and counter accusations!

...but a good argument does liven things up a bit!
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Old 24th Sep 2006, 02:53
  #303 (permalink)  
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Management want us to arrest both of them so that we can give 2 reprimands, hence 2 lovely "detections".

recently was told to arrest an 80 year old woman due to allegations from a neighbour of harassment.
Not for similar offences, but I got caught up in a similar scenario, and I now have a conviction (!) for criminal damage, based on the sole witness account of an aggrieved 'friend of the sergeant' (they have dinner parties together). Lies were told in court (and NOT by me). The case was inconclusive, but the magistrates convicted after three hours deliberation! An appeal was offered, but what's the point if the Police are going to invent evidence to suit their case to clear-up an alleged offence (I say alleged, because 'it never happened' . . . )

I've had three constables tell me (in private of course) that I was 'set up'.

I've always been law-abiding (apart from speeding!) and prepared to contribute to Police intelligence. Now I'm more cautious (and less 'cooperative') even though the sergeant has been 'moved'. His first move was (surprise, surprise) to be an advisor to the magistrates court. THEN he was withdrawn (I think he overstepped the mark) back to Headquarters (and it WASN'T a promotion!).

The POINT of this p*st is that the Constables (referred to above) are 'seeing out their time' totally disallusioned as to how the job has altered.

I forgot to add that the witness is a neighbour that objects to the noise of my mower . . .
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Old 24th Sep 2006, 08:34
  #304 (permalink)  
 
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G-CPTN - why did you not appeal?

-----------------------------------
It's no good blaming senior police officers for the current situation, as it is the result of deliberate political action.

The Government is obsessed with a tick-box target-driven culture. Those of us who work in the criminal justice system (I'm a JOH: a Judicial Office Holder!) are all too familiar with OBtJs (offences brought to justice) and Sanction Detections which is anything that results in someone getting a ticket. There is no credit to the officer who has a quiet word, and defuses a situation. Come the next election, the Government will brandish figures to 'prove' that the number of criminals brought to justice has increased by x per cent. You can't blame senior police for responding to demands from the politicians in charge. It's what they are paid to do, after all.

The justice system has gone through thousands of changes in the last few years, many of them intended to 'send a message' rather than to do anything. What is now needed is a breathing space to absorb the changes and to settle the system down into stability. I have heard that opinion from an under-training junior court clerk, and from a Lord Justice of Appeal. It's one of the few things that everyone in the system can agree on.
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 00:20
  #305 (permalink)  
 
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Brain fade

I think your obvious cynicism and dislike for the police is shining through - you must have been going really fast to be that vociferous.

However you are missing most fundamental point here - it was the police who brought about the initial prosecution against this particular 159 mph police officer. And the 105 mph. And every other police officer reported for speeding. How is that one rule for one etc...?

On the point of the murder of that chap in London, without knowing the full picture it is hard to judge what was going on. Rather than believe the stories in the media designed to sell papers, why not wait for the IPCC investigation. You can hypothesise all you like but that gets us nowhere. The IPCC are truly independent and will not let any issue lie - if the police are blameworthy, they will get the blame!!

On a previous posting of yours regarding giving false details to the police, the offence that you are advocating is called perverting the course of justice and will carry a custodial sentence if found guilty. Recently a haulier in Wiltshire recieved 4 weeks in prison - not long you say - but long enough for you never to fly professionally again (assuming your profile is accurate...?)

The police aren't judge and jury; they didn't sentence PC speedy - it was a member of the independent judiciary. How many times have you heard of members of the public being brought to trial and after the peddling of type of dog and bull story, the magistrate / jury / judge believe it resulting in an acquital, or as per the norm, a disproportionately lenient sentence being passed. We have all seen news reports with tragic consequences when these habitual offenders who should be behind bars get behind the wheel of a car. Police fault too I suppose?

Would you or I have been banned? Who knows? The difficulty for everyone who wants to see transparent justice (police included believe it or not) is that there are so many variables including what side of bed or which planet the magistrates come from!

Is 159 mph safe? Subjective. Is 159 mph speeding? Definitely! Can I drive that fast? No! Would I drive that fast? No. Would I expect to get prosecuted at those speeds? Its a fair bet! Would I moan like a spoilt brat for getting caught? No chance - take it on the chin my son and get over it!

Is speeding an absolute offence? Yes - whether you, me, the naughty speeding cops or anyone else likes it!! If you get caught speeding, you will get prosecuted. Simple as that. Its the same here, Europe, America, Canada and many other places. Its not rocket science.

Beethoven

Discretion is still within the remit of the police officer, however in these accountable times it is arguably good practice to record when and why you use discretion as a matter of routine. It is enshrined within the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. The sanction of arrest should only be as a last resort. The Human Rights Act, with which you will be familiar, has an underlying principle that states that any action must be lawful, proportionate and necessary. Good on you for standing your ground by the way. Guidelines after all are only guidelines. I have found that reminding the supervisory officer that they still have a power of arrest works very well. It is a subjective belief which you do not have to share on the basis of arbitarily chasing PI's. Also on another point, it is within the custody sergeants' remit to refuse to authorise the detention, so a gentle reminder of that little nugget is nice too!! Generally they don't want to be shown up by another supervisor.

It is those type of clowns, plus the sanctimonious and condescending traffic officers who give everyone else doing their bit a bad name. Mind you there are some who you can never please and will never see eye to eye with the cops, eh BF
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 06:09
  #306 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps if bjcc et al had written a well thought out and non-confrontational post such as this then perhaps we might not have had x thousands of pages of accusations and counter accusations!
Couldn't agree more.

Beethoven, a great post and it is very reassuring to see that there are decent people in uniform. Makes those of of us who have had bad experiences and are very cynical about the coppers (i.e. me!) have a bit of a think.

Pity bjcc has never managed to acheive this.....
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 13:22
  #307 (permalink)  
 
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Monkey
Yes, REALLy fast. Think it was 44mph in a 40. About 10 yards before it becomes a 70.

Yes it was cops that stopped him. Yes it was a cop who did 159mph.
The reason it IS one rule etc is YOU or I would have been banned but HE wasn't.

YOU or I would be a 'social criminal' but HE was let off.

Re perverting the course of justice. Frankly I couldn't give a f*ck. That's how strongly I feel about it, my point tho' is if I feel like that, how many others do? And how much help or hindrance is that to Policing generally?
How about answering this point if no others?

My profile IS accurate. (apart from the planet claire bit).

You say, "would you or I be banned". Is that actually a question?

As I said earlier re speeding being an absolute offence. YOU speed! you did it today. YOU did it yesterday" You'll do it tomorrow!

I expect you to turn yourself in next time you exceed the limit. You crim!

Last edited by brain fade; 3rd Oct 2006 at 15:04.
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 23:28
  #308 (permalink)  
 
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brainfade

I didn't say that I have never exceeded the limit and I frankly I don't know anyone that in all honesty doesn't or hasn't. I got the proverbial sp30 in the 1990's for exceeding the 30 mph limit. Bike cop, hiding behind a wall, usual routine. 3 points, fine of £60. Not such a big deal - got to spend my money on something, may as well help pay for most road safety cameras - they don't pay for hemselves you know! I got caught with using a big too much right foot. I accepted that I had been caught speeding and moved on with my life without sulking like a child.

Its not a criminal offence and you don't end up with a criminal record by speeding. Social criminal..is that as opposed to an anti-social criminal? Much better to be social I find

Re: pcoj offence... up to you what you tell the cops, your choice - your risk. In an era where detections are a key performance indicator, I am sure that by committing an endictable offence by bu11sh1tting them, the traffic cops stopping you would be more than appreciative of your help in increasing their arrest and detection figures as the you feel the clink of cold steel around your wrists... The point here is that if you give the cops false details, you are likey to be the one regretting it, not them.

On the point of this 159 mph cop - I think we are kicking the a$$ out of the argument now but just to clarify one thing, he was not found committing the offence, he was reported by other officers who discovered the offence later. If as I suspect you believe there is a conspiracy, why did it end up in court and not in the shredder? The cops did their bit to ensure a level playing field but if the judiciary don't, its hardly the cops fault.. I think thats a point you will concede given that the bloke had 2 trials. If you don't concede the point, I frankly couldn't care less!

Anyway, about your 44 in a 40 zone - unlucky! first offence? 10% +3 is the usual rule to account for uncalibrated speedometer readings in public cars within England and Wales. Hardly Nigel Mansell territory - you need to get yourself a faster set of wheels or some heavier shoes to cut it with the big boys .

By the way are you north of hadrians wall by chance?
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Old 7th Oct 2006, 15:31
  #309 (permalink)  
 
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Monkey
Be a sport and respond to my point about folk becoming less inclined (or in my case completely uninclined) to support the cops due to the marked increase in ' driver persecution'.

re 'that' policeman. There's no point to concede! Surely you don't dispute that any 'normal' civvy motorist would get an automatic ban for driving at 159mph? He didn't! QED.

Re Hadrian. Affirm. Is it really that obvious? Can't be my accent!
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 00:15
  #310 (permalink)  
 
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bf

There will be those that help the cops and there are those that won't, irrespective of how many speeding drivers are convicted. Its been going on for years and nothing will change things dramatically. Not even turning a blind eye to speeding.

Not sure about the automatic ban theory - the cases of David Beckham, Alex Ferguson et al would suggest that the judiciary make their mind up and sentence how they see fit. Looking at the strange judgements passed down (or not!!), I don't believe that there is a consistent, systematic approach to sentencing any motorists - cops or otherwise.

By the way, what happened to that Scottish bloke done for using his mobile phone at about 160 mph?
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 06:04
  #311 (permalink)  
 
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By the way, what happened to that Scottish bloke done for using his mobile phone at about 160 mph?
Don't be ridiculous!!!! A driver done for using a mobile phone??
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 13:58
  #312 (permalink)  
 
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Monkey
My point- which you are determined to IGNORE!- is that MORE people are becoming anti-police. Agree or not?

I accept there have always been folk who hate the fuzz. I still wouldn't decribe myself as one. However, as a 'normal' punter I have realised that I have gone from someone with zero contact with the police, due to not being a criminal- to someone, ie a motorist, who is highly likely to have involvement with the cops and that involvement as the subject of a prosecution.

Yes I know- just drive within the limit and all will be well. As I said before though, we ALL speed. I also frequently drive to work with noone else on the roads. Speed is less of an issue when roads are deserted and most folk asleep.

Frankly I don't think going 44 in a 40 makes you a crim. Especially on a quiet dual carriageway at 0430- but a camera did and so begins the aggro!

Can't help you out about the 160mph telephoner- wasn't me. I do use my phone all the time tho' when driving and as far as I can tell I'm far from alone.
As all the traffic cops are off doing something else now I don't worry about being caught and haven't been.
Why should I get my 4 bald tyres replaced either eh? Or pay for my insurance- little chance of getting caught. MoT? car seems to go as well without one!

These last points don't apply to me, but I'm sure you see the point.

Try to reply to the point I made about cameras et al alienating the public.
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Old 20th Oct 2006, 08:19
  #313 (permalink)  
 
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During the whole clip only ONE vehicle moved to the left after overtaking. We soon will need to buy American cars as most people seem to drive on the right nowadays.
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Old 20th Oct 2006, 08:24
  #314 (permalink)  
 
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brain fade

I think he answered your original point, about anti police feeling. Now you are asking a different question are more people anti.

Yes, possibly they are. Although I would suggest that a large number grumble about speed cameras, but in reality have no opinion about police. Rather like taxes, we all have to pay them, think they are grossly unfair, but still vote for a political party that introduced them.

If the public don't co-operate with Police in the investigation of crime, then who is the loser? The public only, no one else. In any event, I don't think thats happening, from what I understand from friends still in the Job, the flow of information from the public is the same now as it's ever been.

Are the public now reluctant to get involved if a Police Officer is on the wrong side of a pasting? They always have been, so thats not changed a great deal. I would have never expected any help from the public in those circumstances, and that goes back to the 70's, and long before if my older former collegues are to be believed.

Where speed is concerned it has always been a bone of contention between the driving public and the police. Do some research into why AA Partolmen used to salute AA members, or not and why?
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Old 20th Oct 2006, 09:08
  #315 (permalink)  
 
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BJ
It's sad that more people are a bit 'anti' when it comes to the cops and I accept that anything that's bad for the cops is good for the crims and therefore ultimately bad for the public.

My problem really is that no distinction is made between a proper criminal, ie someone who goes out to do a crime- burglary for example- and a driver who inadvertantly exceeds the speed limit, quite possibly by a negligible amount in circumstances unlikely to cause any harm.

Now I know they've both broken a law, and if that's as far as you can see I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

To me there's a world of difference.
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Old 20th Oct 2006, 10:00
  #316 (permalink)  
 
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brain fade

I am not sure that your comment "It's sad that more people are a bit 'anti' when it comes to the cops" is correct.

I do accept that the moaning about police may be greater. But the reality, there is no change in peoples attitude when it comes to dealing with Police. In the end why should there be, Police are not forcing drivers to exceed speed limits, just dealing with the result of that.



There has to be a limit somewhere when it comes to the decision to either prosecute, or to warn, whatever that line is set at, it will cause some that cross that it to be annoyed, and point to someone who may have only be 1 or 2 mph slower not being prosecuted as a reason why they should not be.


Yes, there is a distinction for enforcement of speed and the enforcement of what is seen as 'real crime'. The resources put into speed enforecement being a good example. Speed cameras eliminate the need for Police Officers to be involved in the process. That releases officers to deal with other offences, be those traffic, or crime proper.

There is no disretion involved, with enforecement cameras. I think there should be, and could be, but I don't make policy on the subject. If it were used though, again there would be the hand wringing from some about how it was OK for one and not for them to speed. Perhaps thats why it's not used.

I am only to aware that there is a difference between the 2 offences you mention. I also think it is unreasonable to fine, say a speeding motorist a sum of money, and give a burglar a far smaller fine. One being an offence of negligence the other of greed. Had you read a comment I made on a far earlier thread about speeding, you would know, that I have never reported anyone for excess speed, and only reported a handful of people for traffic offences since I finished my probabtion period as a PC. That was a decision I made for the very reasons above.

Other Police Officers, particulaly traffic don't have the same attitude, but thats their decision to make, just as I made mine.
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Old 22nd Oct 2006, 23:36
  #317 (permalink)  
 
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Just to throw even more fuel on the proverbial fire there was an interesting article on the BBC today regarding the expansion of the use of CCTV in traffic enforcement. There have been thousands of motorists prosecuted by various local authorities for a range of traffic offences including bus lane and box junction violations. The message from the govt is clearly that cameras are not only here to stay, but they will probably be coming to a road near you. This is likely to lead to a bit of mission creep with cctv being expanded to cover other motoring offences, the justification being that it will free up more police for other priorities.

Just to nail the point down once and for all for the benefit of BF, as I said a couple of weeks ago, there have always been those who will support the cops and those that won't. I don't believe (for what its worth) that the general strength of feeling is swayed dramatically one way or another by prosecuting speeding drivers. I think that the media have played a major role, particularly the tabloid press, in delivering a disproportionate amount of coverage on the subject. It seems that at this time those with the loudest voices are being given the column inches to express opinions which wrongly proport to represent the majority view.

One more for BF, forget the flawed argument that everyone speeds, do you believe that speeding is ok?

The point made by bjcc covers your other issues regarding insurance and tyres etc... In the same way that no one else has responsibility for YOUR right boot, no one is forcing you to have good tyres or insurance. The bottom line is that if you break the rules and get caught, you will probably get prosecuted.
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Old 22nd Oct 2006, 23:54
  #318 (permalink)  
 
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I'm dubious of anyone who says that driving at 159 mph is safe at almost one in the morning!
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Old 23rd Oct 2006, 07:25
  #319 (permalink)  
 
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I also think it is unreasonable to fine, say a speeding motorist a sum of money, and give a burglar a far smaller fine. One being an offence of negligence the other of greed.
Burglars don't get fined. Most of them are sent to be dealt with by a Crown Court judge and on conviction face a prison sentence measured in years.
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Old 23rd Oct 2006, 08:36
  #320 (permalink)  
 
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Brassmonkey :

I saw the same News clip where some guy was once again trying to justify the use of "enforcement" cameras at Box Junctions, No Right Turn junctions, Bus lanes etc. on the grounds that they are "intended to improve traffic flow" ..... RUBBISH !

He went into great detail about how a survey had shown that the use of the new camera at a Box Junction had "improved traffic flow by keeping the junction clear" ..... RUBBISH !

What he didn't say was that a good proportion of the drivers on our roads these days have NO IDEA of exactly what the law says about box junctions.
Did YOU know that there are legitimate times when you CAN enter and stop in a box junction when your exit is blocked ??? ( Thought so ! )

The quoted "improvement in traffic flow at the box junction" didn't show whether there were queues of traffic building up on the approaches to the junction, by motorists not daring to enter the box in case they got a fine, unaware that they could legally do so !

Just like speed, sorry, "safety" cameras, these are being introduced to RAISE REVENUE.

If the powers that be want to continue to insist otherwise then here is Coconutty's suggestion and my challenge to them to adopt it :

The cameras are linked to a computer that records the location, registration number of the "offending" vehicle, and the time & date.

It would be a simple matter of database management to introduce a system where instead of sending an automatic fine, an "Advice & Warning" letter was sent to the registered keeper. This would give the details of the alleged offence committed, with an explanation of the appropriate law, ( the "Advice" ), with a "Warning" that if the same offence is repeated within a certain time - say 3 months, then an automatic fine WILL be issued.

This would, IMHO, achieve the aim of improving traffic flow, at the same time as educating rather than alienating motorists, and would also target anyone that decided not to heed the advice given. Some "revenue" would be raised - probably enough to offset the cost of the Advice & Warning letters.

Who'll be the first to shoot this idea down on flames then

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