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Driving At 159mph Is Safe

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Driving At 159mph Is Safe

Old 22nd May 2005, 22:18
  #121 (permalink)  

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Perhaps he could supervise the "safety camera" team.
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Old 22nd May 2005, 22:50
  #122 (permalink)  
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So back to my mate's original point?
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Old 22nd May 2005, 23:18
  #123 (permalink)  
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I have never had (by the grace of god) a speeding ticket. I was a Policenman, and I don't think speed cameras make any huge contribution to road safety.

If they were only in accident black spots they may be of more use. But, spread like the pox all they achieve is money for the goverment.

Education is better than enforcement by taking court proccedings, probably the reason why I avoided tarffic offences (except drink drive).

I will agree with your point on observation though.

All of which gets away from the point over this PC.....I would guess the Poice Federation will agrue with the PC's Chief Constable, if he either disciplines him or moves him that he is being vindictive, which may have some justification.

I don't agree with some of the speeds he was doing, but it's a whole lot safer to be practiced and have knowladge of how a car will react than to have find out when you are doing it for real when there is traffic and pedestrians about.
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Old 22nd May 2005, 23:19
  #124 (permalink)  
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Sorry if my response wasn't clear ....

I can see an argument for dealing with the whole thing completely internally without any publicity - although that's risky in these days of leaks to the Press.
I can see the argument for prosecuting him.
The middle course your mate suggested (huge internal bol***king, and 'publicly' removed from traffic) seems to me to be the worst of the options - inevitable adverse publicity that a policeman drove at those speeds unnecessarily, and aggravated by inevitable outrage that he wasn't prosecuted when any other motorist would have been.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 11:30
  #125 (permalink)  
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It was your first point that my mate was advocating - sorry if I didn't express it well. I agree though that, with leakage culture, it's a risky policy.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 21:02
  #126 (permalink)  
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I have raced both cars and bikes. One car was capable of 240mph in a quarter of a mile. Would I get away with it, NO CHANCE.

I remember some well trained Police drivers joined us in the Mini ranks, and would show us how it was done. Half a season later they slinked off, could not make the front half of the grid, let alone the top ten.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 22:01
  #127 (permalink)  
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Yakker, Being a Fast Road Driver and putting in fast Lap times are two totally seperate things. Never mind the same ball park. They are not even the same sport.

A policeman wouldn't see what way a rally driver went on an open road, but point to point speed against the clock is not what police drving is about.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 22:11
  #128 (permalink)  

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You mean he would see right?
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Old 23rd May 2005, 22:29
  #129 (permalink)  
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Surely the police must have some procedure where this copper could have requested a"clearance" to do what he did from a superior and for a safety co driver (to act as a witness to any probs) to be on board.
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Old 23rd May 2005, 22:33
  #130 (permalink)  
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One point that seesm to have gone almost unremarked is that of the West Mercia Police response to the incident.

Now pardon me for being thick but surely it is vital that in taking such a public course of action that Plod would have lined all the ducks up in a row and obtained sufficient legal advice as to the success of the Prosecution ?

One of the posters on here commented on the views of a former Policeman, who suggested that the whole issue would have been quietly dealt with in an earlier age.

Probably that is true.

Many went on to criticise this viewpoint.

Having said that, surely from Plods point of view the best outcome would have been one where an appropriate sanction was meted out, with the least embarrassment to the Police as a whole?

It strikes me however that taking forward such a high profile Prosecution, and then losing it has resulted in an outcome that suits absolutely no-one?

It has managed to reduce the public opinion of the Police even more, if that is possible.

It has cost money in respect of the costs of a failed Prosecution.

It potentially makes the instigation of disciplinary action that much harder if one takes the view that natural justice should be done.

It has re-inforced the public view that there is one law for them, and one for us, following on other previous high profile cases, such as the off duty Policeman who wormed his way out of a speeding charge, the off duty Policeman in Manchester who was involved in a hit and run, etc, etc.

It re-inforces the view that the Police cannot manage to Prosecute anything that is not just a simple traffic case. By way of example remember the 'apple' Prosecution?, the 'drinking from a can of coke at traffic lights', and the similar 'Mars bar' Prosecutions.

I recall also the disproportionate response to the challenge surrounding the 'apple' case when they actually provided filmed air coverage as part of their Prosecution case.

The proposition is this......Would an internal disciplinary have achieved a better outcome all round??
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Old 24th May 2005, 07:53
  #131 (permalink)  
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Some valid points in your last post---however, re the public vs internal proposition, maybe there was another agenda at work here. This is purely hypothetical of course. Consider these options :

(a) He had a history of "pushing the limits" and this was the final straw.

(b) He has managed to seriously ps off just about everybody who he has worked with.

(c) He is actually very, very good at his job--enter the politics of envy.

So, when the opportunity arose, instead of dealing with the matter on an internal basis, the thought would be to bring a public prosecution, then, when found guilty, proceed with the internal process with the confidence that he would be well and truly hung out to dry as the courts had already found against him. The plan backfired however, as well all now know.

There is of course, the other option. That he was simply grossly irresponsible and that his more balanced colleagues took the view that he had broken the law just like anybody else.

We will never get the full details of course, but the more you look at this case, the more it seems there are "more questions than answers" does it not.
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Old 24th May 2005, 22:56
  #132 (permalink)  
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All is not quite as straightforwards as you hint at. Allow me to elaborate on the delicate world of Plod Internal Politics (albeit slightly tongue in cheek).

By whatevermeans, the facts about the speed said culprit was doing come to pass and are brought to the attention of an officer. Said officer realising that a law could have been broken decides to save their own skin for fear of it being a proactive professional standards plant (Our internal affairs re: professional standards is the fastest growing departmenty in our force!). They then flag it to supervisor.

Supervisor, knowing that other officers are aware, fears the non-addressing of said issue could get them into career limiting grief realises that the days of quite back room b0ll0ckings are gone writes a report which gets to professional standards. The only thing which is more self sustaining than speed cameras is professional standards, who then interview said officer, quite possibly with reference to the Independant Police Complaints Commision.

This whole furball then gets thrown at CPS to see if there is a case to answer and if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable success in terms of prosecution. Note, all the Police do is gather the evidence. The decision as to whether to take a case to court rests with the CPS and includes the decision as to whether it is in the public interest to prosecute. Top brass now cringe at either outcome. They will be publicly lambasted for either failing to win the case (even though that falls in the lap of the CPS to a greater or lesser extent) or for employing rotten apples who should never have got into the office of police constable.

The sad thing for me is that all of this energy and money could have been spent giving me more Bobbys with which we could catch crooks, quite simply by the policy on police drivers exceeding the speed limit having been better written and more widely publicised. Then both the officers and the public know where the line stands.


Obs cop

Likewise, I detest speed cameras. They are another blot on the landscape of British Policing and I have gone on about them many times before, so if you really want to know my opinion that much, please do a search.
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Old 24th May 2005, 23:10
  #133 (permalink)  
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Obs Cop

Thank you for your comments
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Old 25th May 2005, 14:42
  #134 (permalink)  
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Obs Cop

You'll never get promotion!

100% accurate, although you did leave out the PSD attitude of 'Guilty until not proven'.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 13:24
  #135 (permalink)  
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ReTrial - here
Verdict - here

There was a good discussion about the appeal court's decision to order a retrial which was unfortunately merged into a thread about speed cameras.

See post #37 by slim_slag on 1st Feb onwards - here

Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 25th Aug 2006 at 13:41.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 13:32
  #136 (permalink)  
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No suprises there then.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 13:44
  #137 (permalink)  

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So if I get caught driving at an "eye watering" speed and convicted of dangerous driving it is realistic of me to be able to hope for an absolute discharge?
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 14:43
  #138 (permalink)  
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One law for them . . .
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 14:47
  #139 (permalink)  
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Extract from news.bbc:

'A policeman who drove at 159mph on a motorway has been found guilty of dangerous driving and given an absolute discharge.

The police are 'dissapointed' with his conviction, and would appeal.

His solicitor said the appeal would challenge the judge's view that his client's advance driving skills were irrelevant to the charge.
"We are pleased with the outcome but not with the conviction," he said.

Ludlow magistrates were shown the footage of the West Mercia police officer speeding on the motorway at 0300 BST in a 3.2l Vauxhall Vectra on 5 December 2003.

Prosecutors said Pc Milton, described as "the creme de la creme" of police drivers, had also driven at 131mph on a nearby A-road.

Pat Sullivan, prosecuting, admitted there had been some dispute over the speeds the camera had recorded but said it was accepted they were "broadly" accurate.

During the trial, Insp David McWilliam, based at Telford police station with Pc Milton, said the constable had told him he was experimenting with the Vauxhall Vectra because he had not driven it before.

Pc Milton, an advanced driver, has always maintained he was familiarising himself with the car and the reason for his high-speed driving was to practise the skills he had learnt. '

If I were caught doing slides in the snow on a deserted roundabout in the middle of the night, in the name of 'honing my skills' do you think I would be afforded the same consideration?

And the Police Federation are dissappointed he was found guilty? What sort of message does that send out?

The little gem buried in here is this: 131 MPH on an A road? That deserves locking up for. I would not expect any pursuit to be conducted at 131 MPH on an A road, let alone in the name of 'just practicing'

Edit: Added 'Federation' to text re Heliports correction

Last edited by Cheerio; 25th Aug 2006 at 16:24.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 14:51
  #140 (permalink)  
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I'm afraid (?) I'm in favour of the PC 'familiarising' himself with his new vehicle, just as a fighter pilot requires to discover what his mount will do, despite no enemies being about.
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