Thursday, 5 February 2009

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.

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