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Tuesday, 29 December 2009

And finally the truth comes out

I've been telling anyone who will listen for years - and so have fellow members of Motorists Against Detection - that speed cameras have nothing, and I mean NOTHING to do with road safety and here is the proof.

Swindon took the brave step of removing their cameras and got lambasted for it. Now a year later they haven't seen a difference in their accident rates.

That's because speed is not a factor in 95% of accidents.

If this deceitful government and their misguided camera partnerships announced today that they were going to improve driving standards and behaviours I would be on their side immediately. We have too many drivers in this country (many without licences or insurance) who have no idea how to drive properly. Crack down on those idiots and see the accident rate fall. Simple.

Here's today's story in the Sun:

FIXED speed cameras make no difference to road accident rates and are simply money-making machines, it was claimed last night.

The first council in the country to ban Gatsos revealed it has seen little change since making the move in the summer.

Chiefs in Swindon, Wilts, reckon the results have proved that the cameras didn't save lives - but were only there to make money.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Happy Xmas from the Speed Camera Partnerships

Well, not really a happy Xmas - or a happy new year - come to that after they have been told to reveal how much speed cameras earn.

This will underline what I have been sayig for years that speed cameras were never about safety. If that was the case they would be outside schools and hospitals and high streets. But no, the authorities had to raise cash for their silly schemes. (Speed is a factor in less than 5% of accidents - Govt figures).

Anyway enjoy this great story in today's Sun.... (With quotes from me!)

SPEED cameras were condemned as mere money makers last night after cops were ordered to reveal the huge sums raised.

England's busiest Gatso at the bottom of the M11 outside London raked in an estimated �2.3MILLION in five years as it flashed 38,243 drivers breaking the 50mph limit.



Sunday, 13 December 2009

Drivers’ personal details handed to EU

Please believe me when I say we now live in a police state.

Your privacy is no longer an issue - anyone in Europe can find things out about you.

There's going to be a few people being chased for committing minor motoring offences from years ago - shame we don't have the same enthusiasm to chase foreign offenders.

This is in the Sunday Times:

Drivers’ personal details handed to EU

The personal details of nearly 40m UK motorists will be open to abuse when they are “automatically” trawled by foreign states, an internal police report has admitted.

Sensitive information such as a driver’s address, motoring convictions and medical history will be exposed to routine sifting by police, traffic wardens and other officials across Europe when European Union data-sharing plans come into force in 2011.

The “restricted” document raises fears that foreign traffic police and other bureaucrats on the continent will be able to hunt down British tourists years after they return home for reasons such as unpaid parking fines.

Read more

Petrol price war

To be honest I don't really care - fuel is needlessly overpriced (or that should be over-taxed) and I'm still amazed we aren't having major protests again.

Supermarkets launch pre-Christmas petrol price war

Two of Britain's supermarkets have sparked a petrol price war as they cut the cost of fuel.

Asda and Tesco have both dropped the price of their unleaded and diesel by up to three pence a litre, saying they are passing on a cut in oil prices.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

'Dangerous' speed camera rakes in £500,000 a year

Well done to Paul Pearson for persisting in find out about this camera - remeber the vast majority of speed cameras are all about the money!

We have flagged up this particular camera before and it should be removed.

And it's nice to see a FoI request being refused by these people and then overturned. They had no right to refuse.

£500k a year. Blimey! Do you think they will remove this camera?

There's absolutely no chance whatsoever.

Captain Gatso

Read the story in the Telegraph

A motorway speed camera blamed for causing accidents generates up to half a million pounds a year in fines.

Crashes have risen by almost a quarter and casualties have almost doubled since the camera was installed on a busy stretch of the M11 in Essex, in 2000.

Now, details revealed under Freedom of Information legislation, show that the device results in up to 9,000 speeding tickets a year, enough to raise around £500,000.

Campaigners have accused the authorities of refusing to remove the camera, despite it being linked to accidents, because of the revenue it brings them.

Paul Pearson, who runs motoring website penaltychargenotice.co.uk, said: "No wonder they haven't removed the camera that is causing these accidents. It is just raising too much money and they clearly want to keep it there."

Essex Police, which runs the camera together with Essex Council and the Highways Agency, had initially refused a Freedom of Information request by Mr Pearson for details about the speeding tickets issued by the machine.

But after a ruling by the Information Commissioner, the police have been forced to disclose that in 2003 alone the M11 camera was responsible for 9,639 fines and a further 8,451 in 2004. The following year 9,047 motorists were caught by the camera and in 2006 a total of 7,801 were sent fines. In 2007, the number fell to 3,305. There are no complete figures for 2008, but in the year up to May 2009, the number of fines had risen to 6,445.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Posties - don't rush back!

It's not all bad news with post strike. If you've been flashed and are expecting a summons then if lands 14 days after the 'offence' the paperwork is null and void.

This is from today's Sun:

Speeding fines hit by strike
TENS of thousands of motorists will dodge speed camera fines because of the mail strikes.
Drivers cannot be convicted unless they receive notification of their offence within two weeks.
And the postal workers' stoppages last week mean about 20,000 notices of intended prosecution a day have got stuck in the backlog and will not be delivered on time.
Thousands more will be buried in the mail mountain if this week's three-day strike goes ahead on Thursday.
Motorists using the legal loophole will escape a £60 fine and three points on their licence for speeding or jumping a red light.
A driver who already has nine points will dodge a six-month ban.
The authorities rake in about £6million a week from 100,000 speeding and other traffic fines.
The delayed notices could lose them about £1.2million a day.
Road traffic lawyer Chris Sweetman said: "If a notice arrives more than 14 days after the alleged offence the driver cannot be prosecuted because it would be 'out of time' in a court."
Anti-speed camera campaigner Captain Gatso said: "This may be the only silver lining to the postal strike."
Royal Mail chief Adam Crozier yesterday said he hoped union chiefs making "nonsense" claims would "shut up" and "common sense" would prevail when they meet bosses for fresh talks today.
Up to 120,000 workers are set to strike again from Thursday.

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2698934/Speeding-fines-hit-by-postal-strike.html#ixzz0V3K0YYQW

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Speed cameras to go - Tory promise

At long last! People are starting to listen to the arguments I have been making for years now.

I'm not just a lone voice. The Tories at the conference have said they will get rid of cameras (for the full SP read the Reuters story below).

I've done SKY News and lots of radio on this fantastic decision.

In a nutshell - for all you disbelievers out there - speed cameras are about raising cash NOT about road safety.

FACT: According to the Government's own figures, less than 5% of accidents are down to speed

FACT: Most accidents take place at a junction within a mile of your home.

The secret data will put an end to the camera partnerships lies once and for all.

Now let's vote Conservatives and get these lying, double crossing, war mongering, inept tossers who have bankrupted the country out of office!

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend


How Reuters told the world:

The Conservatives declared war on the rapid spread of speed cameras on Tuesday, saying there were better ways to keep the roads safe.

"It's time to put a stop to Labour's cash cow camera culture," Conservative transport spokeswoman Theresa Villiers told the party's annual conference.

"Electing a Conservative government would signal the end of the relentless expansion of fixed speed cameras. It's time to say 'enough is enough'," she said.

Fixed speed cameras on British roads had almost trebled during Labour's 12 years in power, but the fines they generated blinded Labour to the merits of better ways of keeping the roads safe, such as education, vehicle-activated signs or traffic police, she said.

Predicting that fixed speed cameras had reached their "high watermark" in the country, she said a Conservative government would not fund any new fixed speed cameras.

"If local authorities want new cameras they'll have to prove nothing else works better and they'll have to find the money themselves," Villiers said.

She said the Conservatives would publish information, now secret, on each speed camera's record on safety and on fines, so local communities could judge whether a camera should stay or go.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Cops destroy Motorcycle News camera

I hate, just hate, having to bang on about the state of the police today.

This story in the MCN underlines what I say.

As I understand it the police cannot refuse, or intimidate, anyone who wants to take their picture in a public place (I'm not sure about this because this may have changed recently. Bizarrely).

For these cops to say they are armed officers (in a people carrier? Idiot!) is a blatant lie.

North Wales Police need a thorough shaking up. They are a disgrace.

Well done to the reporter who took a pic and then demanded his camera back (in the old days, the cops would pull the film out of a camera - that's criminal damage but few were ever charged).

The police are public servants. The police are there to uphold the law - not be above it.

Read the MCN story and enjoy the comments afterwards.

Captain Gatso

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Great gag about Brown pleases me

This gag on The Sun's comment website sums up my feelings on the news that we owe £25,000 thanks to that surly Scottish twat Brown.

On top this, the 'financial genius' that is Brown used to point how the economy was growing and with excellent job creation.

Well, he was right. ALL of the jobs created are in the public sector. Firms generated just 0.5% of new jobs.

No-one in their right mind will vote for this bunch of clowns again will they?

Anyway:

MacDoom was looking for a call girl. He found three such ladies of the night in a local pub. There was a blonde, a brunette and a redhead.

To the blonde, he said, 'I am the Prime Minister of England. Now how much would it cost me to spend some time with you?'

She replied, "I'll do it for £2000."

To the brunette, he asked the same question. Her reply was "I'll take £1000."

He then asked the redhead, hoping for a bargain.

Her reply was, 'Mr. Prime Minister, if you can get my skirt up as high as my taxes, my pants as low as my wages, get that thing of yours as hard as the times we are living in, and keep it rising like the price of petrol, keep me warmer than it is in my flat and screw me the way you have the pensioners, then it isn't going to cost you a bloody penny!'

(with thanks to the poster muzungu).

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Where are the riots??

Where is the anger? Why aren't people taking to the streets?

Petrol is about to reach £1.10 and yet we are all sat here doing nothing.

These New Labour clowns have a lot to answer for. It's ridiculous.

Someone, ANYONE, start the fuel protests again before the entire goes bankrupt.

Unbelievable.

An Amazed Captain Gatso

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Angry motorists torch speed camera in backlash against scores of tickets in three days

No comment.

From the Daily Mail:

Speed cameras are being destroyed in what appears to be a revenge campaign by motorists. Two on one stretch of road in East Dorset were set alight on consecutive weekends, and four others have been vandalised in the county in the past year.

Read more....

Magistrates' fears over new police powers to give drivers £60 on-the-spot fines

At last someone is standing up to the police 'service'.
Not content with wanting to have more control - they are now the judge and jury on careless driving issues.
Understandably, magistrates aren't too pleased with this.
All you have to do is join up various issues: less than 50% of cases now get to court (the police issue lots of cautions including, unbelievabley, for rape).
The prison population is now at an all time high - and it's so incredibly difficult to get sent to prison now.
So Labour tell us crime is falling but fewer offences are dealt with in courts and those that are have a very slim chance of being sent down.
Welcome to Blair's Britain!

This is in today's Daily Mail:

Police cannot be trusted to hand out on-the-spot fines for some motoring offences, magistrates warned today.They claim officers will 'misuse' the powers and force drivers to pay the fixed penalty notices when they have done nothing wrong.In a scathing attack, the Magistrates Association said that by giving police powers to hand out fines for careless driving, innocent motorists will be penalised while some guilty drivers could avoid jail terms. Scathing attack: Police should not be given the power to issue on-the-spot punishments for careless driving, say magistrates (file photo) The Government is planning to give police new powers to hand out £60 fines and three penalty points on their licence to motorists guilty of careless driving.Currently, offenders are prosecuted in the courts where they can face a fine of up to £5,000 and up to nine points on their licence.But police leaders want more powers to issue the fixed penalty notices as it frees up officers time as they are not bogged down with paperwork for court.The number of on-the-spot fines issued by police has risen sharply under Labour - largely due to the introduction of the 'penalty notice for disorder' which was introduced in 2004.
Read more!

The police cannot be trusted because they will always ALWAYS abuse their power.
This means no-one will get a summons to appear before a court and here at MAD - we think that's an outrage!

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Saturday, 15 August 2009

The speeding 'stitch-up': Middle-class drivers 'will have to pay big costs bills even if they win court cases'

Well done to Ray Massey in today's Daily Mail.

In a nutshell: Thousands of middle-class motorists who challenge speeding fines face having to pay most of their legal costs even if they win their cases.

Reforms, which have been described as a 'stitch-up' aimed at excluding the middle classes, will limit the costs that can be claimed back by the drivers.

From October, the Ministry of Justice is cutting the current generous level of costs awarded to successful defendants to the lower rates used in legal aid cases.


It's all about the money! Zanu Newliebour prove once and for all that 'justice' in the UK does not extend to motorists - especially when they come up against the money machines that are speed cameras.

I have told everyone for years to contest their fines.

Then the authorities made it harder and doubled the fine if you dared to take them on.

That's not justice.

And with the number of mistakes being made this just underlines the police state we live in. This latest move from the 'Justice' Ministry is a disgrace and targets all but the rich. Gordon Brown - his election to oblivion can't come soon enough.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Monday, 3 August 2009

Captain Gatso and the Financial Times

This is my piece from the weekend's Financial Times....

Motorists Against Detection
Captain Gatso [a Gatso is a type of speed camera used in the UK] , campaigns director, is a “family man in my forties”

Motorists Against Detection, which oversees the Speedaholics website, encourages the destruction of speed cameras.

The Speedaholics website says “a campaign will be organised by direct action to take out speed cameras”.

How are you able to get away with it?
You don’t host your site in the UK and US. And it depends on the way you communicate: encrypted e-mail, mobiles – divert, divert, divert and in the end you bin the Sim card. The campaign became big quite rapidly. It’s not, as the authorities portray, just vandalism.

Isn’t it?
It patently isn’t. Speed cameras are not road safety devices, they’re a revenue stream. People are still dying.

Do you vandalise cameras yourself?
I don’t get my hands dirty. It’s carefully orchestrated, I use PR and I have a day-to-day relationship with a lot of Fleet Street.

Are there speed cameras you wouldn’t attack?
Anything in a built-up area we used to leave be. But the speed limit’s come down and, with all the tricks they play, we’ve pretty much said everything is up for grabs. Boy racers are clued up on speeding then braking. It’s older people who are most likely to get tickets, for speeding a few miles over the limit.

Why not just demonstrate or lobby your MP?
People are exasperated with lobbying. The socialist government is car hating, it doesn’t want you having mobility and freedom. It’s part of the encroaching surveillance society. You’ve got digital speed cameras that are noting down places where you’ve been, going on the nationwide police computer in Hendon.

What about accidents happening because you’ve destroyed a speed camera?
The accidents are going to happen anyway. Putting speed cameras in is like trying to swat a fly after it’s gone. There are pieces of bad engineering of roads and junctions that could be ironed out.

Is there an outlaw thrill in what you do?
Not really. OK, I use a silly name, because my real name wouldn’t bring anything to the table. Yet when you take this word “Gatso”, people’s ears prick up, they know the subject.

Do the police know who you are?
I hope not.

On another note:
I keep telling people that this database-driven Police state will end in tears.
And for the people affected by the debacle of 'Officials give 1,570 people criminal records by mistake over past 12 months' you have my sympathy.The idots responsible never take the blame. No-one gets fired but you've lost out on a job.That's life under Zanu Labour.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Goodbye and good riddance

At long last the Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban has retired from policing.

Richard Brunstrom takes with him his daft and offensive ideas.

Let us not forget that his idea of criminalising motorists did not lead to a drop in his accident rate.

But it did lead to a lot of irate motorists - who have never been in trouble with the police before - losing jobs and paying fines they shouldn't have done.

Nice to see he tried going out with his usual Zanu Labour inspired spinning tricks by saying he had cut crime by 50%.

Thankfully his Welsh wage and pensioner payers aren't having any of that and they say he is talking balls.

Don't forget that it was this cretin who in 2007 had to apologise to the family of dead biker Mark Gibney after showing images of his decapitated body to a group of journalists.

He is also the idiot who called a press conference to lambast a pensioner for going a few miles an hour over the speed limit.

Now he is selling everything and taking to the high seas (where he should feel at him with pirates).

Good bye and good riddance you arrogant tosspot.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Panorama - What Ever Happened to People Power?

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the police, aided and abetted by Zanu Labour, are not interested in democracy and free speech.
They don't want people to speak up and defend their rights (try contesting a wrongly issued parking or speeding ticket and fell the full force of this depravity).
So it's hats off to BBC's Panorama programme for their sterling effort: What Ever Happened to People Power?
Mainly because it used professional, older people to illustrate a point.
It's not young radicals that the police are targeting. It's ordinary law-abiding, hard working people who they can't stand.
They invent reasons to stop and harrass people, keep evidence they shouldn't even have, prevent people from protesting (because that's like soooo dangerous) and enforce a blanket 'everyone is guilty until we say otherwise approach'.
Here at MAD we have been trying to point out that the Police's approach to combatting 'speeding' has worsened the public-police relationship.
From the Panorama programme (watch it here) the police really are their own worst enemies.
I fear though that the damage is done. The police won't give their (mainly illegal) powers no matter who is in charge.
Welcome to Police State Britain! (Good work Blair and Brown, by the way, This should go on your tombstone along with the illegal wars, super high taxation, unlimited immigration......)

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Friday, 26 June 2009

Hurrah! Common sense prevails - pay as you go scrapped

This Daily Mail story has brought a smaile to my face after weeks of misery:

Pay-as-you-drive scheme shelved: Labour backtracks after 1.7m sign petition.

A national pay-as-you-drive road tax plan has been shelved by Labour after the scheme sparked the largest petition on the Downing Street website.
New Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said it was 'not the time' to introduce the scheme that would see drivers pay up to £1.50 a mile to use the road.
The plan will not be included in the Labour manifesto in the run up to a General Election and will
Let's see what they do. They don't often pay any attention to the democratic process but then, as the most taxed nation in Europe, I think we are all getting ticked off about how expensive driving in this country has become.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Monday, 22 June 2009

Talivan is bang to rights

Farcical. This from The Sun shows just what the police think of our laws.
A Talivan dishing out speeding tickets is parked up next to a sign saying do not park. Brilliant.
Well done to the Sun for highlighting idiots like this.

Read more

Captain Gatso

More evidence of police state Britain

I've been trying to flag up for a long time that we in the UK live in a police state. The police are simply beyond justice.
just to underline what is going on, go to this Guardian story and watch the video (actually it's police surveillance footage which makes it even worse).
It's taken a while to get here - but leaving someone in custody for FOUR days because she asked a copper for his number?
Come on. That cannot be right (and PC Dickhead, you have to give someone your number if they ask for it).
I'm bewildered. We have an unelected Prime Minsiter who is doing a shambles of a job with a cabinet stuffed with unelected cronies.
Have I lost the plot?

Captain Gatso

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Speed camera fines drivers £350,000 in just three weeks as drivers cry 'scam'

This Daily Mail story illustrates a ruse used by many councils - change the junction layout and priorities without actually telling anyone.
In this instance, it means a council has raked in fines worth £350,000 in just three weeks.
Of course, no-one at the council thought that this was an extraordinary situation and so they didn't opt to cancel the fines (oh, no no no) or improve signage.
No they kept on issuing fines and getting nasty when people complain.
We must be close to civil war on actions such as these. The councils work for US! We pay THEM! Since when did ordinary, car driving folk become such easy targets?
It has to stop.

Captain Gatso
The motorists' friend

For car news and views

Here's part of the Mail story:
North London's Islington Council fined thousands of drivers in a matter of days after installing a CCTV camera to catch road users who were unaware of the new rules.
Previously it had been legal to turn into the tiny backstreet.
Now angry road users - who say they only realised the rules had changed when they were sent fines in the post - are demanding the local authority cancel the penalties.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

British motorists pay £250m tax every week

People wonder why I get so angry with the antics of politicians - this story in the Telegraph illustrates why.
British motorists cough up over a BILLION pounds a WEEK and get a fraction back to help maintain roads which would shame a third world nation.
This is a political issue. Zanu Labour have used us as a cash cow to be milked regularly - without any say on where the cash goes. Stand up for your 'rights' and they destroy you or legislate your silence. Try contending a parking or speeding ticket and see how far you get. The authorities don't make mistakes and they don't answer questions.
So now we have millions of overtaxed, disgruntled voters who are really pissed off with the state of the nation.
As the writer says:
So what do we get for the £250m we spend each week on motoring taxation? A slower, more congested, less enjoyable road network that is undoubtedly getting worse, not better, as maintenance and repair standards are allowed to deteriorate.

Read more and weep.

Captain Gatso for motoring news and views

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Brown the dictator and his mad grip on power

I just can't bring myself to say what I really think about the current political situation. (I mean in the UK not in Iran, though you;d be forgiven that at least the Iranians have had something akin to free and fair elections).
Most of what we have now stems from the Government's attempts to treat motorists like shabby third class citizens - and we let them get away with it.
That's given them the idea that the British people will not stand up for their rights.
Instead we are having them trample over rights we have held for a thousand years.
All underpinned by an unelected Prime Minister who has staffed his cabinet with unelected inisters.
It's a disgrace.
In the Euro elections I thought it was lucky that this shower achieved an abysmal 15% - now it turns out that in some areas Zanu Labour polled an appalling 8%.
And now we have a whitewash on the Iraqi war - a complete cover-up by these twisted lying deceitful no good warmongers.
We want an election and we want it NOW!
Read a thoughtful piece in the Daily Mail about what is going on.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Monday, 25 May 2009

The war on speed cameras spreads

We love the newspaper.com and respect their newsgathering skills.

For anyone in any doubt that it's not just the UK suffering with cameras then here is a timely reminder: Australia and France are seeing cameras destroyed too.

(Though, in the Australian case we do not condone 'direct action' against the staff who are manning the cameras).

Here's the story:

Australia, France, UK Traffic Cameras Under Fire

Speed camera assaults on rise in Australia, French sticker attack costs thousands in revenue, UK red light camera trashed twice in one night.

Motorists around the world are finding new ways to express displeasure with automated ticketing machines.

At around 2am on May 5, vigilantes set fire to a red light camera in the Tolworth suburb of London, England according to This is Local London.

Authorities discovered the blaze and had the fire put out before significant damage was done. So an hour later, the vigilantes returned and set it on fire a second time.

Although the attacks were typical insofar as they used gasoline-filled tires, targeting red light cameras is relatively rare.

Independent US studies have documented an increase in accidents where red light cameras have been used, but no similar independent studies have been conducted in the UK.

(Errr, we disagree with this point. We believe there is a report commissioned by the DfT and because it says accidents increase, has been buried by the authorities).

In South Australia, the drivers of speed camera cars are reporting an increase in "assaults." In some cases, bricks, rocks and other objects have been hurled through the windows of the automated ticketing vehicles and the drivers' union is demanding action, the Adelaide Sunday Mail reported.

More commonly, however, the assaults are verbal, with 29 insults hurled in 2008 compared to just one in 2005. Projectiles tossed at speed cameras increased to four in 2008 from three rocks in 2005.

"I've had bottles thrown at me, I've had my car rammed and one guy hit me a couple of times and took my windows off," a former speed camera employee told the Sunday Mail.

Police officials are also upset that last year, on seventeen occasions, photos were taken of the speed camera car driver.

In Paris, France vigilantes covered a speed camera in Continental-brand tire stickers on April 29, and the device was not repaired until May 12. MotoMag estimates that drivers saved 120,000 Euros (US $160,000) while the camera was unable to issue citations.

Captain Gatso

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Cops lie about speeding

Well, who would have thought it? Here is proof that the police tell lies to avoid speed tickets.

Here at Motorists Against Detection we have long held the belief that to avoid tickets you need to be wearing a uniform. And here in today's Sun is a story about two top boys saying they were working when they were they weren't,

Congratulations to Surrey Police for investigating cops flouting of traffic laws. It's long over due but.....

WHEN WILL MORE FORCES START TO CLAMPDOWN ON THIS?

Here's The Sun story:

TWO top cops were suspended yesterday on allegations of speeding and running red lights on private trips — while claiming to be on police work.

Surrey Police Chief Superintendent Adrian Harper and Superintendent Johnny Johncox could face criminal charges.

Investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission asked the Crown Prosecution Service to investigate if any criminal offences may have been committed.

The suspensions come as part of a probe into cops flouting traffic laws — then allegedly dodging their fine by signing forms claiming that they were on police business.

Surrey Police confirmed there were allegations of “dishonest conduct”.

Captain Gatso

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

CCTV - £500m wasted

So it's no surprise to us that a report finds that the massive CCTV network has done very little to impact on crime.

No-one is surprised are they?

This is all about control and Zanu Labour giving the impression that they are doing something about crime.

Look at the mess they have got us all into.

Read more.

* It's also nice to see that the car scrapping scheme will see the £2,000 sweetener disappear after just 88 days. That's the thing with Gordon Brown, he thinks everyone is an idiot. The car trade will make the necessary adjustment to used car values to make sure it's not them carrying the cost.



Captain Gatso

Monday, 18 May 2009

Gatso nets £1m in just five months

Various camera partnerships, the Government and police keep trying to tell us that speed cameras are not about fleecing motorists.
But look at these figures - released under Freedom of Information and not willingly handed over - and think carefully.
What is the real issue here? If it is speeders going through roadworks causing such a problem then for God's sake get police patrols out and enforce the speed limit with tickets and 'words of advice'.
Or is it because there is an issue with signposting (a regular problem for people running cameras at roadworks) for so many people to be caught.
Whatever the answer it's simply ridiculous that so many drivers have had tickets issued.
On top of this it's also revealed that six other temporary camera sites together raked in £2.2million.
They were: the M1 in Mill Hill, North London (£616,000); A2 in Cobham, Kent (£397k); A40 in Denham, West London (£374k); A550 in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire (£368k); Junction 6 of the M62, Merseyside (£368k) and M1 near Rotherham, South Yorks (£71k).
This must be a topic for debate. So let's have it.
A GATSO installed to snare drivers racing through roadworks on a commuter route issued £1million of tickets in FIVE MONTHS.
The temporary speed camera snared 16,213 speeders — more than 100 a day.
Most would have been fined £60 — £973,000 in all — and faced three penalty points.
The camera was installed during a temporary 30mph limit on a 50mph section of the A316 in Hanworth, South West London — a commuter route into and out of the capital via the M3.

Read The Sun story


Captain Gatso

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

We were right all along

Here at Motorists Against Detection we said that the police and authorities were only interested in speed cameras AFTER they were allowed to keep the cash.
We were slagged down and ridiculed but wait....here's a story in The Times that underlines what we are saying.
There are now fewer speed cameras (well, the housings are still there but let's not split hairs) which in turn has led to a massive drop in speed camera penalties.
We would view this as a victory except that the police reduced its number of patrols to rely on camera technology and this has compounded a situation which has led to an increase in accidents and injuries.
Sadly the bloated and expensive camera partnerships are still in existence.
It's a start but I doubt that we will go back to having the safest roads in Europe. The people in power don't do humble and they don't do apologies.
Which is a shame because their stance means we will suffer more injuries with this woolly-headed (and wrong) approach to road safety.

Read the story

Captain Gatso

Monday, 11 May 2009

SPEED CAMERA BOSS BANNED FOR DOING 102MPH

Whooops! Many apologies for the slight technical hitch which meant that the last few postings didn't actually disaply.

Anyway....

It's simply disgraceful that someone in charge of speed cameras ignores them - but is banned under totting up rules. So, he is a serial speeder. I've been saying for long enough that the speeding laws in the UK don't apply to anyone who wears a uniform. Or, it now transpires, who happens to install and maintain them.

Will he resign? Don't hold your breath. But here I am being quoted in the Daily Express. His employers must view this as gross misconduct, surely?

BRITAIN’S speed camera boss was banned from driving ­yesterday – for speeding at more than 100mph.

Serco chief executive Tom Riall – whose company maintains the yellow Gatso roadside cameras – admitted exceeding 100mph on a 70mph dual carriageway. He was caught by a police patrol car.
Riall, 49, was banned for six months after having six points added to his licence.
Magistrates at Sudbury, ­Suffolk, were told he had two previous motoring convictions, including a speeding offence.
Riall, of Ufton Nervet, near Reading, Berks, claimed a driving ban would cause him “exceptional hardship”. He would need to employ drivers at a cost of about £30,000 to take him to business meetings, he said.
Last night anti-speed camera campaigner Captain Gatso, of Motorists Against Detection, called for Riall to be sacked.
He said: “Motorists will be clapping their hands. He has got a taste of his own medicine.
“He is making £150,000 a year from his ill-gotten gains and living off our misfortune. Surely being caught speeding like this is a case of gross misconduct. He has to be up for the sack.”

read more

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Home Office 'colluded with Phorm'

Ho ho ho ho. Phorm is a nasty, unwelcome watcher on everything you do on the Internet. Shame on any ISP that decides to instigate its 'service'.
On the surface, it's about serving up relevant ads - but to do this they need to monitor the sites you are going to.
It's unethical and it's wrong.
And lordy - here we have the Home Office taking an interest. As they always would.
There's no doubt that they would be interested in the 'service' for other means.
Coming after Jackboot Jacqui the Home Secretary for Zanu Labour saying they wouldn't keep a database of our internet and email usage, the whole thing stinks.
We are so close to losing our privacy and, to an extent, our liberty is frightening.
Here's how the BBC reports this:
Home Office 'colluded with Phorm' The ad-serving system profiles the sites people visit online The Home Office has been accused of colluding with online ad firm Phorm on "informal guidance" to the public on whether the company's service is legal.
E-mails between the ministry and Phorm show the department asking if the firm would be "comforted" by its position.
The messages show Phorm making changes to the guidance sought by the ministry.
Lib Dem Home Affairs spokeswoman Baroness Sue Miller, who has questioned the Home Office about Phorm, said the e-mails were "jaw dropping".

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Friday, 24 April 2009

More speed cameras planned for UK roads

This is simply unbelievable. OK so the country is skint but do we really need more Government cash-making machines by the road side.
The funniest part about this new plan is that the Govt wants to create the safest roads in the world 'within 10 years'. Errr, it's probably passed your attention but until Zanu Labour came to power we did have the world's safest roads.
But what the hell - drivers are now facing more points and fines for motoring 'offences'.
And to introduce these 'time over distance' cameras is going to cause riots - if you don't crack down on uninsured, unregistered and unlicensed drivers first. See later.
There's a crack down on drink and drug driving - with random breath testing becoming more common - which is to be welcomed. I doubt that this means more police on our roads.
However, drivers are facing a ban after only two speeding offences with penalty points being doubled to six points for drivers who exceed the speed limit by 15mph in a 20mph or 30mph area, or by 20mph in higher speed zones.
Apparently, there's more action against uninsured and unlicensed drivers also set to be introduced. I doubt this will be that big - it's politically fraught since so many of the unlicensed drivers are immigrants.
I have had, and I mean this literally, enough of this Zanu Labour crap.
Just remember there's an election next year.
Read more.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Plans to cut traffic speed limits

News that the Government is planning to reduce speed limits on A roads and country roads shows, once again, just how woolley headed this lot really are.
The Government's own figures show that speed is responsible for just FIVE PER CENT of all accidents.
There is a way of playing with the figures which boosts it up to 40 per cent but that entails 'could bes' 'possibilies' etc etc.
You face more danger at a junction within one mile of your home - not on an A road.
Jim Fitzpatrick said in a statement: "We've already made real improvements to the safety of our roads - there are now almost 17,000 fewer deaths or serious injuries in a year than there were in the mid-1990s. But it is intolerable that eight people are still dying on our roads each day."
Errr no you haven't mate. The figures have actually got worse since then, especially with the introduction of speed cameras. (If anyone wants to seethis in stark reality check out the stats for essex. Blimey, they make your eyes water).
We do need 20mph zones outside schools and hospitals but these speed freak Nazis will just lump them in places where they aren't needed to slow motorists down and cause tailbacks.
Talking of which it's good of the Government to announce its 'Greenwave' thinking. This is a tacit admission that traffic has been deliberately slowed down by red lights to cause congestion, and burn more fuel so we have to pay for more (at 75 per cent tax).
Empty words and empty promises.
Educating drivers and putting more traffic police on the roads is the ONLY way to improve the statistics.
It's a real shame that we don't have Paul Smith from SafeSpeed around anymore to show this plan up for the crap that it really is.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Saturday, 18 April 2009

The police are stuck in a minefield

It's no suprise that the IPCC is getting involved with the police not wearing the ID numbers on their uniforms.
It's getting out of hand. Loads of coppers turned up at the G20 demo with theirs missing or covered up. This is strictly against their own rules. And they did at the Tamil protest outside Parliament too.
And then we have news that the raid on Tory MP Damien Green was wrong but also politically motivated. The police overstepped the mark and have shown they are just a political arm for Zanu Labour. I said previously there was never any 'national security threat'.
The Home Secretary is starting to look ridiulous. A politically motivated Police investigation to silence an opposition MP? Unbelievable.
To underline that the police are their own worst enemy and we now live in a police state, consider from today's news:
* two Austrian tourist have their photographs of London BUSES deleted by two coppers under the anti terrorism legislation (indeed the coppers are wrong and may have committed an offence themselves)
* The woman hit with a cosh at the G20 says her tormentor is a bully (by a sergeant without his ID on his shoulder and who towered above the woman)
* And I would like to remind readers that when Tony Blair was arrested (the ONLY serving Prime Minister to be arrested) his DNA was not taken. Again aganist the rules and no reason as to why he has special treatment

My police friends are getting fed-up with how the police are being shown up in the media. There's just one easy solution - remember who pays your wages and start showing decent ordinary people some respect.

There's more on this issue tomorrow!

** I could rant on about petrol prices rising to 95p a litre but I can't do it. I'm beyond despair at this Government fleecing honest, law-abiding motorists in this way. Disgusting. Vote them out.
*** I could even go on about the Budget that's being planned. We are already the most taxed nation in Europe so we can't have any more taxes imposed. Then there are rumours that our pensions (ie Private not public service ones) are about to be raided once again. We must be close to civil insurrection mustn't we?

Captain Gatso

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

And so the PR spin begins to unravel

So, as I flagged up last week, it doesn't matter that you put a positive spin on what could be a dodgy assignment - the truth will always out.

And here we have yet more officers being fingered for unprovoked violent behaviour.

The fact most officers didn't have their numbers, or ranks, display suggests they went to the G20 to carry out mindless acts of violence.

In the latest video there is no suggestion that the sergeant was provoked into reacting.

But he is a professional and beating a woman with a metal cosh is no way to help in police relations.

Is that the sound of birds coming home to roost? The police have undermined and criminalised vast numbers of law-abiding people with their ceaseless tactics of hammering motorists, their ramping up of the big brother police state and generally losing respect of ordinary members of the public (and for this instance I point to the demonstration violently put down in Luton the other day - shame they didn't use the same tactics when the Muslim chanters disgraced the soldiers' homecoming parade).

Again, I congratulate the public relations operations within the police. Excellent work but this was always going to unravel.

Though I'm pleased to see that a review of tactics is being asked for. Believe me, 'penning in' innocent law-abiding members of the public and treating them like crap just won't wash anymore.

And whilst on this subject - don't proclaim that there isn't any CCTV footage to prove the Tomlinson incident without checking first. I suspect the private footage now coming foward is going to make very interesting viewing.

But then I doubt we will ever get to the bottom of what really went on at the G20. Which is a pity for the poor public/police relations.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Little Brother is watching the police

I love this article in The Observer. It sums up what I have been trying to say about the spread of police powers. It's ok for them to film you and use the evidence but there's a sting in the tail should the roles be reversed.

Under Zanu Labour the extent of police power has been enlarged to an extraordinary level. This article mentions someone taking a picture of PCSOs parked on double yellow lines outside a sandwich shop while they grabbed lunch. On spotting the concerned citizen they demanded he delete the images. Is this correct? There must be someone who is reading this blog who can point me to the law which gives these idiots this power.

It's just incredible. Anyway this is The Observer link.

On another note: I see Gordon McBrooon is trying to distance himself from the email slur debacle. This is how they work. That notorious sleazebag Alistair Campbell is a master of the 'dark arts' and they have Mandy back in the cabinet. They can't win the next election in a straight fight so they have to destroy whoever stands up to them. It has got to stop.

The stench from this rotting corpse of Zanu Labour is overpowering and distracting the country.

I am looking forward to the European elections in June when there might be an upset or two. (And it was hilarious to read Harriet Harperson having a crack at the BNP who don't deliver what they promise. Hello... pot...kettle...black).

Take care on the roads.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists' Friend

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Scotland Yard PR - I salute you!!

So Bob Quick falls on his sword after revealing a top secret paper outside 10 Downing Street. But he hasn't left the police force.

Let's leave that bit of spin for a moment.

It was sad that the MoD had to issue a D Notice to stop the media running with the story as it gave them time to organise a PR strategy. The paper itself didn't reveal too much about what was going on.

And then the copper who shoved the G20 protestor who went on, moments later, to have a heart attack, 'came forward'.

Well he was always going to be identifed but the timing just stinks. The police are desperate to get this death off the news agenda and, hey presto, the clown Bob Quick steps in. This is his third major apology in as many months, isn't it?

The best thing about the poor man's death at the G20 is the police's obsession with filming and monitoring everyone. Guilty or not, you are being registered by mere fact that you were there.

But, oh no, the police have been filmed doing something very bad. I think the footage (from an American banker appalled at the antics of the police) is pretty conclusive.

There is no way the police can wriggle out of this one and their original PR spin about helping a man from being bottled is exactly what this lot is about. Now the spin is unravelling and the chiefs are facing a nightmare of ordinary people asking that someone be held to account.

Make no mistake, that footage looks like a manslaughter charge to me.

The damage has been done and people are questioning police tactics like this and the idiot notion of 'penning in'.

Let's support the Lib Dems who say that the police are unaccountable and uncontrollable.

Please prove to me that we don't yet live in a police state.

Oh and Bob Quick if you had any real shame about being found for being a buffoon you would resign from the police service, instead of being the PR fall guy for one day's headlines.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Police smart cars aren't so smart

I keep trying to flag up to various people that we are now living in a police state. This story from the Daily Mail illustrates again just how close to total control we are getting.

You won't know you have committed a crime until a fine lands on your door mat. It's about raising cash - try to contest one of these fines and see how far you get.

Democracy? Forget it. Privacy? Long gone. Stalinst state. Hello.

Big Brother row as police force starts using Google camera cars to fine wayward drivers

Police are taking a leaf out of Google's book with their latest weapon in the war on motorists. They are using cars with spy cameras on a mast.

Drivers talking on their mobile phones, eating, applying make-up or otherwise driving illegally will be pictured.

And as the telescopic cameras can zoom in from some distance, the first inkling that they have been snapped could be when a £60 fine lands on the doorstep.

Police say the new cars – similar to those used by Google to map town and city streets – will help reduce road deaths.

But motorists say the Big Brother vehicles will merely be another cash cow for the Government and a further 'tax' on hard-pressed motorists.

Two Smart cars are pioneering the scheme in Greater Manchester, where distracted motorists are said to have caused more than 400 accidents in the past two years, killing or seriously injuring 25 victims.

Drivers who are caught using their mobiles will be sent a £60 fine and will have three penalty points on their licence.

Those caught on camera without a seatbelt or driving erratically while eating will be fined £30. Anyone who refuses to accept a fine – which will go into Treasury coffers – could be hauled before the courts.

Karen Delaney from DriveSafe, the road safety group behind the latest scheme, said: 'Many vehicles are now better equipped than offices or homes, with the latest technology in satellite navigation, telecommunications and state-of-the-art music systems all to hand.

'Add in other distractions such as complex dashboard instrumentation, a hot cup of coffee and a conversation with other vehicle occupants, and it is no wonder that some drivers are not paying attention.'

She added: 'The Smart enforcement vehicles are fully police liveried and working in areas where our data analysis has identified a high occurrence of "driver distraction" collisions and where officers have regularly observed offences being committed.'

Nigel Humphries, from the Association of British Drivers, said: 'This is a total infringement. They might as well put something in cars to test what drivers are thinking – to see if they are concentrating on the road or thinking about something else.

'Apart from that it's going to be counter-productive. There's no excuse for not having police officers watching the road to look out for motorists who are driving erratically.'

Peter Roberts, from the Drivers' Alliance, said: 'People shouldn't be using mobile phones when they are driving in the car, especially handheld ones. But I am not comfortable with spy cameras which can see into your car and see what you are doing. 'The old-fashioned type of policing where coppers are sitting by the side of the road watching people go past to see if they are using a mobile is a far better way of doing things.'

Captain Gatso

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Petrol prices are indefensible

I tell you - I'm so looking forward to the summer of chaos. It's about time that people in this country began to get angry.

Take yesterday's petrol duty rise. It may be only 2p but it's still 75% of the pump price. I don't want to pay those thieves in Zanu Labour any more money.

It is a hurtful thing to do because so many people are struggling. Pump prices rocketed when the price of oil went up but the fuel firms haven't put their prices down as quickly (or as much as they should have done) once the oil price fell through the floor.

On top of this, the AA says pump prices have risen by more than 5.5p a litre since the start of 2009.

Outrageous!

And today we have uSwitch.com saying that in the last decade, the cost of insuring, servicing, taxing and buying fuel for a car has outstripped the rate of inflation by a massive 34pc.

This fleecing of the motorist has just got to stop.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Six million motorists forget MoT

News that 6 million motorists have forgotten about their MoT doesn't come as a surprise. It's human nature afterall. But the Government tried a few years to change the rules as part of a clampdown on this issue. Obviously they wanted to rake in a few quid by hammering people with late payments fines.

But to find that one in five of us have been late is a surprise. Especially doing it later than a month overdue.

So we like the idea of having an email reminder to get it done.

Except we will probably forget to act upon it!!

* Apologies for being away. Did I miss anything!!

* Good luck to all the security people in London this week. I think you will be needing it. It's a shame you roll out the carpet for security for a waste of space like Gordon Brown but can't do it for the people who pay your wages.

* So the Home Secretary has been found with her nose in the trough. Again. So what her hubby likes fanny flicks. He can do what he likes. Just as long as I am not paying for it!!
One in five motorists has been more than a month overdue when renewing their MoT, a survey has shown.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Motorist stopped by police for laughing

NBot only should this be beyond belief but just about everyone isn't surprised. This is what happens in a police state. The coppers just make the laws up as they go along.

To compound matters, the officer then spent 35 minutes questioning this poor man, trying to find something else to have him for. To ask an alopecia sufferer what colour his hair was is beyond the pale.

Will the force concerned apologise and 're-train' the officer? What do you think.

Anyway, the Daily Telegraph did a good job on this tale. Read it and shake your head slowly like the rest of us.

A motorist was stopped by a police officer and questioned because he was laughing at the wheel.

When Mr Saunders got out of his car, the policeman told him: 'Laughing while driving a car can be an offence.'

Gary Saunders, a company director, was using a hands-free phone when he burst out laughing at a joke told by his brother-in-law, who he was talking to.

A few moments later he noticed a traffic officer flashing his lights at him and gesticulating at him to stop his Renault.

When Mr Saunders got out of his car, the policeman told him: "Laughing while driving a car can be an offence."

The officer spent half an hour questioning his suspect before reluctantly allowing him to carry on his way.

However, he took another hour-and-a-half of Mr Saunders' time by ordering him to produce his licence and other documents at a police station.

Mr Saunders, the managing director of Spontex Workwear, of Liverpool, said the delay meant that he missed an important appointment.

"I couldn't believe it when he told me I'd been pulled over for laughing," he said.

"I was driving very safely in the Birkenhead Tunnel and took a call.

"He said something funny and I was laughing - simple as that. I never took my eyes off the road and was in full control of the car.

"I definitely wasn't speeding so I asked what the problem was and he told me I was laughing too much."

He went on: "The officer accused me of throwing my head back in a dangerous way, which I denied since it is definitely not something I do.

"It became a bit ridiculous when he wanted to know the colour of my hair as I have alopecia and there isn't a hair on my head.

"When I pointed this out he asked: 'What colour was your hair when you had some?'

"It went from ludicrous to unbelievable. He definitely had a bee in his bonnet about something and I got the brunt of it.

"In the end he reluctantly admitted that he had nothing he could accuse me of, but still required me to take my documents to the station."

Supt Kevin Hagger, of the Mersey Tunnels Police, said: "I wouldn't want to make a comment as I don't know the full details.

"There is no record of the incident in the system so it seems the gentleman was just spoken to by the officer and the matter not taken any further."

A spokesman for the Association of British Drivers said: "This is a shocking example of the police harassing innocent motorists simply because they are an easy target.

"To suggest that a driver could be prosecuted for laughing is ludicrous beyond belief. What next? Can we expect to hear of people being stopped for sneezing or coughing while they are at the wheel?"

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Strange case of the man terrified of speed cameras

It's almost beyond belief but I have an understanding of how this man feels. I have issues whenever I drive past a speed camera. Sadly, I don't think I would get a speed camera partnership to help me overcome my anger.

Anyway, good luck to Colin Gant who couldn't drive past said cameras because he had a phobia.

Let's hope he doesn't get any points now that he has been 'cured' by the speed camera partnership!

Though I would have thought the easiest solution would be to remove the speed cameras from the road.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists Friend

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Another reason for me to hate cyclists

I don't normally comment on other blogs having a pop at me but I'll just say that this fella must be feeling very proud of himself. And the BBC, typically, bends over at the first sign of trouble.

So there we have it. Cyclists are the enemies of democracy. Freedom of speech. Forget it. Freedom of expression. Don't bother.

It probably stems from the fact that I am fed up with cyclists breaking the law on such a regular basis. The rules of the road apply equally (which is one of the main thrusts of our (MAD's) argument).

Plus I think cyclists should have their cycles registered so the police know who to arrest - or as is more likely, who to post the fines to.

I just cannot be bothered with their inane witterings.

Captain Gatso
The Motorists' Friend
http://captaingatso.net

Here is the blog....

Deleted!
I complained to the director of BBC News about the BBC News website supplying a link to the website of Captain Gatso, as outlined here.

Yesterday I had a reply from a BBC news editor:

I entirely agree that it was inappropriate to link to the "Captain Gatso" website from the story on our London index.

I have had the link removed from the story and taken the opportunity not to link to that site again unless there is a specific editorial reason so to do.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

ID cards - it's an accident waiting to happen

Our march towards a police state continues. The worrying aspect is that the public sector is rammed with arrogant idiots who claim they can't do any wrong (preventing people appealing a speeding ticket and denied justice, anyone?).

So here we have a 'secure' system that has been breached by various people.

I flagged up ages ago that give these low-lifes any power and they will ALWAYS abuse it. Even if they don't have the right to access privileged information they still breach their own rules.

I'm telling you our privacy is up for sale via Zanu Labour. We cannot put up with this for much longer.

Here's the Daily Telegraph story:

Identity database accessed by town hall staff without justification

A database which is to be used as a model for the proposed ID card scheme has been accessed more than 30 times by council staff without authority.

The "serious security breaches" were made to the Customer Information System, which will host personal information on tens of millions of Britons when the Government's national identity scheme is up and running.

The Department for Work and Pensions, which runs the database, has threatened legal action against local authority staff who access information without "business justification".

The database currently contains a record of everyone in Britain who has a national insurance number as well as other benefits and employment data held by the DWP.

The department shares the data with agencies including councils, the courts and other government departments, but at least 33 local authority staff have broken access rules to view information since August 2006.

In future the database will provide the backbone of the National Identity Register – a database of citizens created to support the issuing of ID cards – and the breaches have raised concern about the security of the scheme.

Read the rest of the Telegraph story.

Please support No2ID.

Captain Gatso
http://captaingatso.net

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Time to repeal terrorism laws

It's not just me, thank God! Here's the former head of MI5 telling it how it is. We ARE living under a police state with heavy legislation penalising minor offences.

The country's councils have been turned into modern Stasi because they have so much access and control over our lives. Zanu Labour should be ashamed of themselves but they haven't got the guts to admit when they have got it wrong.

There's no point having legislation such as we have when the country's borders are open for any old murderer/terrorist to walk in.

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

Ministers 'using fear of terror'

A former head of MI5 has accused the government of exploiting the fear of terrorism to restrict civil liberties.

Dame Stella Rimington, 73, said people in Britain felt as if they were living "under a police state" because of the fear being spread by ministers.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia and published in the Daily Telegraph, she also attacks the approach taken by the United States.

"The US has gone too far with Guantanamo and the tortures," she said.

"MI5 does not do that. Furthermore it has achieved the opposite effect - there are more and more suicide terrorists finding a greater justification."

She said the British security services were "no angels," but they did not kill people.

Dame Stella, who stood down as the director general of the security service in 1996, has previously been critical of the government's policies, including its attempts to extend pre-charge detention for terror suspects to 42 days and the controversial plan to introduce ID cards.

"It would be better that the government recognised that there are risks, rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, precisely one of the objects of terrorism - that we live in fear and under a police state," she said.

Dame Stella's comments come as a study is published by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) that accuses the US and the UK of undermining the framework of international law.

Former Irish president Mary Robinson, the president of the ICJ said: "Seven years after 9/11 it is time to take stock and to repeal abusive laws and policies enacted in recent years.

"Human rights and international humanitarian law provide a strong and flexible framework to address terrorist threats."

The Conservatives said the government's push to extend the detention time limit for terror suspects was the kind of measure condemned by the report.

Shadow security minister Baroness Neville-Jones said: "The Conservative Party is committed to ensuring that security measures are proportionate and adhere to the rule of law."

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Ed Davey said: "This is damning testament to just how much liberty has been ineffectually sacrificed in the 'war on terror'."

Dame Stella became the first female head of MI5 in 1992. Council plans to give journey times on road message signs

Monday, 16 February 2009

ACPO is a disgrace

For once words fail me. Here is a police organisation milking everything it can in what appears to be a cosy old boys club. Nice work if you can get it.

I could go on but I would just have a crack at the UK being a police state and people will just contact me to disagree. Though, to be fair, they are usually serving police officers who don't like to be viewed as enforcing what has become a totalitarian regime.

Here's the story from the Mail on Sunday:

Body in charge of UK policing policy is now an £18m-a-year brand charging the public £70 for a 60p criminal records check

Britain's most powerful police body is being run as a private business with an annual income of around £18million.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), which oversees everything from anti-terrorism policy to speed cameras, was last night facing demands that it be disbanded, following a Mail on Sunday investigation into its activities which include:

* Selling information from the Police National Computer for up to £70 – even though it pays just 60 pence to access those details.
* Marketing ‘police approval’ logos to firms selling anti-theft devices.
* Operating a separate private firm offering training to speed camera operators, which is run by a senior officer who was banned from driving.
* Advising the Government and police forces – earning £32million of taxpayers’ money in the process.
* Employing retired senior officers on lucrative salaries.

Here's the rest of it http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1145581/Body-charge-UK-policing-policy-18m-year-brand-charging-public-70-60p-criminal-records-check.html

It's absolutely disgraceful.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Drivers face £120 fine for parking over dropped kerbs

Just to let you all know....

This is an Evening Standard story:

Motorists who are caught parking next to dropped kerbs in Westminster are to be fined up to £120.

Previously motorists in the borough have been allowed to park next to the kerbs during times when single yellow line parking restrictions are not in force - after 6.30pm and on Sundays.

But from Monday, that policy will change and wardens have started issuing notices warning of the move.

The kerbs are to help wheelchair and pushchair users off pavements.

Motoring campaigners have criticised the move. Paul Pearson, of website penaltychargenotice.co.uk, said: "Thousands of motorists will now make the mistake of believing they have parked legally, only to be fined £120.

"This seems more aimed at raising money than helping keep dropped kerbs clear. It's a licence to print money."

However, Westminster said it had begun issuing warning notices and that this had already cut parking over dropped kerbs by 70 per cent.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Every email and call will be stored under new law

So, let's get this straight. The threat of 'terrorism' (still not defined) has led to the potential introduction of this law. So why do we allow 650 public bodies access to the data? Why have councils and sneaks got the right to access the data whenever they want to?

This is a huge intrusion into a persons private life and another nail in the coffin of democracy. I keep saying that we aren't heading to a police state because it is already here.

It's just unbelievable.

From a newspaper today:

Phone and internet firms will be forced to store for a year records of any call, email or website visit in the UK, under a law quietly introduced last night.

Taxpayers will pay £46.58million so that police, the security services, health authorities and even town halls will have the right to access their 'communications' records.

The cash is to compensate companies for the cost of storing records on around a billion pieces of information every day and the expense of supplying this information to all bodies covered by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Spain puts UK to shame on road deaths

This is a press release from the Association of British Drivers. Basically, it underlines what we all know but very few actually say.

Figures released by Spain's Dirección General de Tráfico show a drop of one fifth in road fatalities. 2,182 were killed in 2008, some 559 fewer than the previous year. Despite Spain having a similar number of vehicles on the road as the UK, the most recent fatality figure in the UK was 2,946, a damning inditement of failing UK road safety policy. Trends over the past fifteen years have seen Spain more than halve their annual fatality figure despite rapid traffic growth whilst the UK have only seen a reduction of around 20%.

So, how have Spain achieved this success and how can the UK road safety establishment learn from their experience?

ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries explains: "Spain, like the UK will have benefited from the dramatic improvement in car design. Without this it is likely UK casualties would have risen, road safety policy here can take little credit for our miserable achievement. Spain, unlike the UK has invested greatly in engineering, ironing out blackspots, realigning and junctions, bypassing towns and villages and replacing the most dangerous roads with dual carriageways. They have also relied on good old fashioned policing. 'Trafico' officers can often be seen watching the roads and pulling up suspicious looking vehicles or drivers. They have introduced a positive points system, as suggested by the ABD for the UK, and clamped down on drink driving. What they have not done is to flood the country with speed cameras, nor does there seem to be a great emphasis on speed enforcement. Here in the UK road safety policy has concentrated almost solely on cameras and enforcement and people are still dying."

ABD Chairman Brian Gregory commented: "The UK road safety chiefs need to learn and learn fast that their policies are failing. We need a return to good old fashioned policing and investment in engineering. How many more need to die before they wake up?"

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Put greedy parking bandits in their place

This is an excellent article by Martin Lewis, Britain's money saving expert , in the News of the World.

His advice is very good and shows that everyone should be questioning their parking tickets (mainly because the councils are inept and can't follow simple laws).

I WANT to show you how to rip-up your parking tickets! Not literally, of course.

But follow these methods to cancel UNFAIR parking fines, or reclaim clamp and tow-away fees, and it’s effectively the same thing.

The stats are simple. Take parking appeals all the way to Independent Tribunal stage, and you’ve an astonishing 70 per cent chance of SUCCESS.

Often, councils don’t bother defending. Yet they are bothered to give out eight million-plus tickets annually.

Read the rest here: http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/lifestyle/money/166935/Got-a-ticket-Stick-it.html

To everyone who has been asking me about the Home Secretary effectively defrauding her way to more than 100 grand in expenses - I can't summon up the energy to be pissed off anymore. They've all got their noses in the taxpayers' money trough. And the fact the Tories are quiet on this one too illustrates just how rampant this is. The authorities say she hasn't done anything wrong is just bizarre. What is more worrying is that since 2001 she has racked up more than £700,000. Plus she pays her hubby £40,000 a year. The whole thing stinks. No-one, absolutely no-one can defend these jokers anymore. I've had enough.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Cameras, not coppers

Below is a post by Hilton Holloway from Autocar. He writes very well and examines the news about police not enforcing minor traffic violations.

Hope you don't mind Hilton, but I'm going to 'cut and paste' your blog here for everyone to read.

Many thanks Hilton. We need more people like you to stand up and explain why this move is so very dangerous.

When will the rest of us take to the streets?

Hilton's blog:
It’s said that the UK has the highest concentration of CCTV cameras in the world. Some estimates say we have 4.2m CCTV cameras – one for every 14 people. Walk through central London and you could be caught on camera 300 times in a single day.

Well, in the last two days the creeping automation of the policing of everyday life took another couple of significantly leaps forward.

Press reports on Tuesday said the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) had given the go-ahead for the rollout of Specs average speed cameras in urban areas. The cameras will be used in new 20mph zones, which many in local London politics have been lobbying hard for.

Perhaps the one glimmer of good news is that the cameras will be used in place of speed humps, which, the anti-car brigade suddenly now agree, lead to huge increases in local pollution and noise. Even so, as any experienced driver knows, sticking exactly to a 20mph limit on a narrow, urban street will not be easy. Avoiding a fine will become a serious issue.

But there’s even worse news. Last night it was revealed that the Metropolitan Police have been stripped of their powers to deal with offences involving major road signs. These include such things as ignoring ‘one way’ and ‘no right and left turn’ signs.

Although drivers can be stopped and ‘advised’, the Police can no longer give a ‘formal warning’ or take any ‘reporting action’.

Apparently, powers to prosecute (ie send out big fat fines) now lies with Transport for London and London local authorities, who will use the extensive CCTV camera network to scan the streets.

Understandably, some coppers are hoping mad. As I pointed a few days ago, Traffic Police make a major contribution to road safety by stopping drivers on the spot and issuing strong words of advice or a ticket. And Traffic Cops have a huge success rate in uncovering other wrong doing, thanks to their instinct for dodgy cars and dodgy driving.

But instead of experienced officers, exercising professional judgment, Britain is going to be policed by unthinking 9-5, civilian camera operators whose idea of car crime will be illegal left turns. Will the cameras be able to breathalyse drivers? Stop drugged drivers? Pull over tailgaters?

Years ago, parking offences were handled by the Police. Then the whole system was hived off to civilian operatives who needed to hand out fines in order to pay their own wages and raise money for the council coffers. In short order, parking enforcement went from keeping the traffic flowing to an expensive game of cat and mouse.

Indeed, if you want an example of the current policy-maker’s hatred of drivers, consider this. A parking fine in London for overstaying by 3-4 minutes can easily be £80. Well, a couple of years ago, the law on shop lifting was changed so that anybody caught with less than £250’s worth of stolen goods would get an automatic, on the spot fine of…£80.

But I’ll finish by giving you the most chilling example of law-enforcement by robotic cameras and robotic people. In June 2007 terrorists packed two E-Class Mercs with gas tanks and parked one in London’s Haymarket and one in the adjacent street. The Haymarket bomb was spotted by an ambulance driver at around 1.30am and the area evacuated.

However, the other Merc was ticketed by a parking warden, then quickly towed off and stored at the huge Park Lane underground car park.

The traffic wardens and tow truck drivers clearly didn’t watch the news because, even though the car was parked outside because it smelt of petrol, they didn’t call the Police. The cops eventually tracked the second Merc-bomb down the following afternoon.

And still the policy makers would rather have cameras instead of coppers.

Mind how you go.

Keep up with the comments: http://autocar.co.uk/blogs/anythinggoes/archive/2009/02/05/cameras-not-coppers.aspx

Police told not to police

This is an outrageous story which was sent to me by a serving officer (Yes, they do read this blog and are very supportive. Er, generally, of what I am trying to say). You will be reading about this in the nation's media.

Basically, a senior traffic officer friend of mine who works out of the 'Empire State Building' in London forwarded me on yesterday a lovely email stating in great detail how they are not to police many traffic misdemeaners such as no entry and no left turns - in fact a long list of traffic violations.

It's so that TfL and the local councils can start scooping up the revenue from a £100 ticket which is sent to the registered keeper every time they are seen committing an offence.

In extreme circumstances 'words of advice' may be offered to the errant drivers.

This is another case of us moving towards a police state, governed by camera and Big Brother spies. A police state is a corrupt state. So here we are again with legitimate, law abiding people getting hammered. Because you won't find those who don't register their cars, foreign drivers and those with false plates being at all concerned about this move.

Clearly, it's all about the money. Police officers have a discretion to issue words of advice, vehicle rectification certificate, a fine or a fine and points in certain cases.

However this is purely about getting the cash in to the council's coffers.

But also remember that when police officers stop people for small traffic infringments that they often find other evidence of criminal activities or intent.

So I send this message to the new Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson - this is not a good start to your job. Must try harder. And you MUST re-invest some money into your depleting road traffic police within London.

To everyone outside of the capital: remember that where London leads other councils will follow. This is the thin end of the wedge.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Average speed cameras mean no escape for drivers

So here we have it. Average speed cameras for residential areas. The Government again takes great strides in monitoring the population and Big Brother lives. Every week the police state takes a tighter grip on what we can and cannot do. Unbelievable.

I've flagged up before the issue of the cameras not covering every entry/exit. So if you know of a short cut, take it and knock some time off your journey the camera will calculate a higher speed. Try disproving your ticket in court. Because this automated and the authorities are making it harder for people to contest speeding tickets. It's called democracy Zanu Labour style.

Here's the story from The Times....

Cameras that detect a motorist’s average speed will be deployed at all entry and exit points to residential areas as an alternative to road humps and chicanes.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) has approved a new generation of cameras that are linked wirelessly and operate in clusters, meaning that speeding drivers will be caught whichever route they take across a wide area.

Unlike earlier speed cameras, Specs3 are digital and never run out of film. They read numberplates automatically and transmit data instantly to a penalty-processing centre.

Drivers who slow down briefly when passing them will still be caught because the cameras can be positioned any distance apart. There is no flash so motorists will not realise they have been caught until the penalty arrives in the post. They are harder to vandalise than Gatso cameras because they are suspended from arms on six-metre poles.

read more - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/article5645536.ece

Monday, 2 February 2009

That global warming is a real menace

Like many people I've struggled today in the appalling winter conditions.

This batch of snow is predicted to be the worst for two decades in this country.

But at least the skiiing resorts have done really well with record snow falls too.

Don't forget to enjoy it while you can. That global warming will make this a rare event.

Strange how those shouting loudest for green taxes go quiet at times like these. Or is it just me?

Hundreds of police officers escape speeding fines

And this headline only relates to ONE county!
It's all very well having a law to clamp down on speeding but please make it fair for each of us. Our stance has always been to object to serving police officers dodging tickets on a technicality. We know it goes on but the scale of what is really happening is truly frightening. Are these Boys in Blue ever responsible for their actions?

(On, and for you BiBs that will get in touch saying senior officers 'have a word' with offers caught speeding. Don't bother. There are thousands of British motorists who would like police officers to 'have as word' with them instead of handing fixed penalties. We can't have a two-tier system of justice).

Anyway, here's a report from the Yorkshire Post a supporter has sent me....

HUNDREDS of West Yorkshire police officers escaped speeding fines after being caught driving too fast on non-emergency calls, it has been revealed.

Speed cameras captured 437 police drivers breaking official limits over the past two years, according to information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

But only 29 officers paid a £60 penalty, with 390 claiming they were exempt from the charge because they were on "urgent police duties".

In the remaining 18 cases, no fine was issued because police were unable to identify the officer responsible.

Although none of the drivers was using blue flashing lights to indicate an emergency situation at the time they were caught speeding, under police rules drivers are allowed to claim exemption from fines and penalty points if they can explain how their vehicle's progress would have been impeded by observing the speed limit.

Read more at http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Hundreds-of-police-officers-escape.4937824.jp.

Captain Gatso
http:captaingatso.net

Friday, 30 January 2009

Mad Mullah is a failure

Fast on the heels of the number of speeding tickets rocketing comes this one. I've been telling the media that the mad mullah in North Wales is a first class idiot. Speed cameras DO NOT make the roads safer. Even the government's own statistics prove this.

However, more traffic police on the roads do make the roads safer. Sadly, the cost money while cameras earn money. Go figgure why we don't see more traffic cops on our roads.

It's a crazy situtaion it really is.

Story is from the Western Mail

Serious road accidents rise despite measures

A WELSH police force that prides itself on its firm approach to road safety and traffic policing has seen the numbers of people seriously injured in collisions rocket by almost a third.

The numbers of people seriously injured on North Wales’ roads between April and December of last year was 345, compared with 268 over the same period in 2007 – an increase of 29%.

The figures on fatalities in North Wales have fluctuated very little, with one person less being killed over the same period in 2008 than in 2007.

Politicians and motoring organisations yesterday said the serious injury statistics show the force’s reliance on speed cameras as a major weapon in its road safety arsenal is flawed. They called for a change of approach with more police officers patrolling roads to spot errant drivers instead of what they regard as a preoccupation with cameras.

Conservative AM Mark Isherwood said North Wales Police – headed by the so-called “Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban”, Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom – has issued more speeding fines per head of population than any other UK force. Fines rose eight-fold in less than a decade between 1997 and 2005, while during the same period police in Gwent reported a fall from 5,263 to just 506.

North Wales AM Mr Isherwood said focusing very heavily on speed can be “unsafe and inappropriate”.

“These statistics reinforce the need for a proportionate and intelligent approach to motoring laws rather than a one size fits all policy. The policy has lost public confidence and alienated a lot of people who have otherwise never been in trouble with the law and have looked to the police as trusted public servants.”

The Association of British Drivers (ABD) said the numbers of seriously injured people have risen while traffic levels have fallen due to the recession.

Department for Transport (DfT) figures showed a 2.2% decrease between July and September of 2008 in traffic levels. This followed a 0.5% decrease between April and June.

NUMBER OF SPEEDING TICKETS ROCKETS

You don't need to me to tell me that this story comes as no surprise. At least some politicians are beginning to ask why we have so many cameras.

Read this from the Daily Express:

SPEEDING fines and prosecutions in Britain have increased sevenfold and the number of speed cameras has rocketed, according to latest figures.

Speed camera offences rose from 262,000 in 1996 to 1,865,000 in 2006 and Tory MP Mark Field says it is time that the “pendulum turned back to the long-suffering motorist”.

There are at least 3,500 more cameras than in 2000 and the MP for Westminster called yesterday for an end to their “excessive use” and the “overzealous penalising of drivers”.

Mr Field obtained the speed camera figures under the Freedom of Information Act, revealing that in 2000 there were 2,000 cameras on the roads but by 2006 this had shot up to 5,500.

Despite the massive increase in fines, roads are still blighted by dangerous drivers, and according to the MP disqualifying motorists has turned into little more than a game.

He said: “The use of speed cameras transformed the disqualification system into one of Russian roulette.”

The chaos on the UK’s roads is further compounded by a lack of traffic police, according to motoring organisations, with the number of officers on duty having fallen by 20 per cent in a decade.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Motorists - brace yourselves!

So the country is skint and, according to the IMF, needs to raise £20billion in taxes - or make the same amount in savings.

Well, as the most taxed nation in Europe I'm hoping against hope that it's the tax cuts route wee Gordon takes.

If not the only route open is to milk motorists. Again.

On top of this has anyone noticed how bad the roads are getting? Supposedly one fifth of road tax actually goes into repairing the roads. I don't think so. The roads are literally crumbling under our feet. The damages claim for pothole damage must be huge.

We have the roads of a second or third world country - not ones which represent the world's fourth richest country.

The whole Labour government is a shambles. And the end can't come soon enough but I fear we may be lumbered with these losers for another two years.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Losing a passport - classic 'mission creep'

News that Zanu Labour is planning to hit dads who don't pay maintenance for their children is a prime example of mission creep.

It's also littered with loads of pitfalls. The main one being it isn't a judge who decides whether the errant dad loses his driving licence and/or passport. It's a civil servant. Would you trust the cretins who man the government's turkey army?

No, me neither.

But the big worry is that when this becomes law I will lay money now that there's a clause which enables the government to hit drivers for other issues.

Drove too fast in a built up area? Bang goes your licence and passport.

Not paid a speeding fine? Bang goes your licence and passport.

Late paying your road tax? Bang goes your licence and passport.

Honestly, this shower only think in draconian terms. I highlighted at the time of the introduction of the Terrorism Act that there was no definition of terrorism or a terrorist. It could include someone damaging a speed camera, for instance.

And that's why people who try to get their children into schools are being hit with the Terrorism Act. It's barmy.

The country is already a police state and here we are cranking up authoritarian powers. It's beyond belief.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Well done Dale

This story in today's Daily Telegraph just underlines the first rule of dealing with speed cameras - always, always contest your ticket.

The authorities make so many mistakes it's unbelievable. Don't just rollover and take a fine and points if you don't agree with it

This young fella knew the ticket had to be wrong and spent a fortune proving the principal. I'm hoping he isn't expecting an apology because these people never apologies for being wrong.

They don't like it when people exercise their legal rights and contest speeding tickets.

If the authorities concerned listened and stopped being so arrogant about their infallibility then may be we could get somewhere.

But then, as I keep saying, the public/police relationship has now broken down to such a degree that I don't think it will ever return. That's down to Zanu Labour and the speed cameras victimising ordinary, law-abiding people into being criminals.

This is the story:

Speed case dropped after driver proves old car won't reach 98mph

A motorist accused of speeding at 98mph succeeded in getting the case against him dropped after spending £1,200 to prove that his 14-year-old car could only reach 85mph.

Read more:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4290679/Speed-case-dropped-after-driver-proves-old-car-wont-reach-98mph.html

Friday, 16 January 2009

Cop not banned because he had a row with his wife

Dunno about you but I don't the magistrates would wear this excuse with me.
Like I say: road safety should be for us all. Those who wear a (police) uniform should be held accountable and not be above the law.
Well done to the lads who stuck one one him. Shame about the inconsistent 'justice' system we have in this country.
I doubt the officer concerned will do the decent thing and resign?

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2009/01/15/cop-caught-speeding-at-105mph-escapes-ban-because-of-row-with-wife-86908-21042124/

Cop caught speeding at 105mph escapes ban - because of row with wife
A COP caught driving at 105mph was spared a ban yesterday after a sheriff heard he was angry with his wife at the time of the offence.
Grampian Police constable Alan Bothwell was clocked by colleagues from the Central Scotland force as he roared north on the M9 near Stirling.
The courts routinely ban speeders who do more than 100mph unless they have an exceptional excuse.
But Stirling sheriff Paul Arthurson gave Bothwell a £600 fine and six points on his licence after the cop's lawyer told him about his client's marriage troubles and depression.
Solicitor John McLeod said Bothwell was living with his mum in Glasgow when he was caught speeding on September 25 last year.
After a row on the phone with his wife, who was living in Aberdeenshire, the 37-year-old officer got into his Vauxhall Astra Sxi and set off for the north-east. Mr McLeod said Bothwell was upset and "in an enraged mood" following the argument and allowed his speed to creep up.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Police take down facebook page

Another nail in the coffin of free speech? Another example of the thin-skinned police stepping on any criticism? I'm really at the stage where I believe the police just do not care whether they get public support anymore. Much like Germany in the 30s.

Anyway, I liked what this fella posted on to another motoring site:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1116322/Po...

Suffolk Police had to get Facebook to shut down a site dedicated to a Traffic Warden who had become a nightmare and was making peoples lives and businesses a misery, even resorting to creeping around in the dead of night to garner inteligence.
Some the locals set up a page to slag him off, but due to it's popularity and the fact that some of his customers or angry victims were so rude about him, the spoilsports that the Police are these days had to get involved!
They may have classed as a hate crime, I guess, good for the stats?
His name is John Woodgate, he has a beard and hes now a PCSO, so watch out BIB he might book you as well, to keep his hand in.
What happened to free speech, opionions, beliefs, I thought the internet was not Policed or censored, although have read that it's best not to host stuff in the UK or US as they have agreements with each other and ISP's delete or keep records of things, Phillipines is good I hear?