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Friday, 8 January 2010

ACPO's little helpers Ltd.

Road Safety Support Ltd. Who are they?

They are supposed to be an affiliate of ACPO (also a private limited co).Their technical support manager, allegedly, is Stephen Callaghan of Cumbria SCP, who lists his qualifications as 'been trained to use the LTI, and has experience of laser weapons systems." Trevor Hall is also a Director. He was at Elvington when the LTI 20.20 was proved to be unreliable, but states that it gave spurious readings during these tests because it was not used in accordance with ACPO code of practice. This company is the one who stands up in court and gives expert evidence that the devices they use (in Iain Fieldens case the gatso) does NOT need to be set up in accordance with ACPO code of practice because they are just guidelines and make no difference to the accuracy of the devices used. And of course Meredydd Hughes (photo) CC of S Yorkshire, at the time involved with the set up of RSS was a spokesman for ACPO traffic issues and a speed camera zealot. Wasn't he the serial speeder who lost his licence last time for 90 in a 60 with his family in the car? In his spare time from his jobs, paid for by the public, he is involved with RSS who charge vast amounts to try and discourage innocent people from defending themselves. I hear of sums in excess of £25000 are being paid by camera operators for 'expert prosecution witness' ' Enquiries are ongoing to establish the truth of this information. In the meantime what Mr Hughes and ACPO forget to mention is that the majority of speed limits that he seeks to prosecute are unscientific and inappropriate and that speeding itself does not cause one single accident. When will the rest of ACPO wake up to this?

Mr Hughes, who received a CBE  for his highly paid non road safety effort, is now standing for Police Commissioner in South Yorks.


  1. RSS is a Ltd Company headed by Chief Constable Merydydd Hughes, also an active member of ACPO. The same Chief Constable is a director of another company, that of NDORS Ltd. NDROS has been set up to take more money from the public purse. SCP's make an enquiry to NDORS Ltd about a driver and it costs them £5.
    Medd Hughes seems to be working against the remit of senior officers. So much time spent doing things to make money other than direct policing duties. I have a copy of the minutes of a meeting of Kent & Medway Safety Camera Partnership where fellow director Trevor Hall makes the statement that RSS is Chief Constable Merydydd Hughes “private concern”.
    My immediate concern is that RSS Ltd provides Expert Witnesses and on behalf of the prosecution whenever a matter comes to court that is within their claimed area of expertise.
    There is within RSS Ltd a senior member of the CPS who is seconded to them, is paid for by RSS Ltd and works on behalf of the prosecution at trials against drivers. This person is presently Andrew J Perry, Crown Advocate. Quite why anyone from within the CPS should be in this position is questionable as there are plenty of other non CPS advocates in the private sector who would be equally capable of providing any legal expertise that RSS Ltd may feel they require and who could be actually employed directly by them.

    In the Memorandum of Association of RSS Ltd there is a intent to seek conviction of anyone who dares challenge the operational integrity of speed detection devices. The actual wording is: “To assist safety camera partnerships and suppliers in defending legal challenges and test cases.
    There is a Timesonline interview with Chief Constable Merydydd Hughes following a case on Humberside where RSS gave expert evidence on behalf of the CPS. The defendant lost his case against an alleged speeding charge and the resultant costs that were awarded were excessively high due to the involvement of RSS Ltd. In fact the costs amounted to over £9000.

    Following the conviction of that driver Merydydd Hughes stated: “We are going to demonstrate that spurious cases get a slap. This team will defend the integrity of enforcement equipment and help us win high-profile cases.” “We are saying to drivers who think they can try it on, ‘Come and get us if you think you are hard enough’. We have won every case we have supported.”
    From a company that provides expert witnesses at the drop of a hat this is entirely against the spirit of providing independent and unbiased testimony, be it real or perceived.
    To sum up the position of RSS Ltd and those within it, it has shown clear intent through its Aims as a company and spoken word by its directors to pursue those who dare to challenge any speeding charge.

    Further to this, Mr Andrew J Perry, the seconded CPS member, provides assistance to the CPS in developing their case even to the extent of sitting alongside the CPS lawyer presenting the prosecution case, and takes on the role of counsel for the CPS in Crown Court. RSS Ltd is more of a prosecutor than mere advisers and providers of expert witnesses, and do actually get very involved in the direct prosecution of cases or defending appeals in a Crown Court.

    There is a clear responsibility by Expert Witnesses to provide independent and unbiased evidence to the court. Since the Expert Witnesses from within RSS Ltd are pledged to the Aims of RSS Ltd “To assist safety camera partnerships and suppliers in defending legal challenges and test cases” there cannot be any presumption of an unbiased and independent report from them. There is a clear conflict with his duty to the court that cannot be reconciled with mere stated aims of presenting an unbiased report. This is all too close to the smell of collusion that it removes any vestige of integrity to the words “in the interests of justice”.

  2. In publishing the above comment, we have not verified its content and would expect readers to make their own enquiries and verification of the remarks and allegations being made. Bearing in mind that 'Fractious Tart' is in effect anonymous comment.


  3. Keith
    Your first comments said " Elvington when the LTI 20.20 was proved to be unreliable" yet the Judge in that case that called that test should be undertaken decided that the evidence was reliable.
    Then you have said that the comments by Fractious Tart have not been verified.
    Are you not operating double standards here?
    Your comments are incorrect with respect to the LTI2020 yet you distance yourself from the comments of FT, the truth of which are possibly just as far from it as yours.

  4. Bob I am no technofile and don't profess to be. What I do know is that the simple act of exceeding an arbitrary number on a pole 'speeding' cannot cause an accident any more than to not exceed it won't. These cameras are just speedos with a camera. Speedos cannot detect accident causes they only detect speed. Driving too fast or 'at an excessive speed' (too fast) causes accidents but you know full well that cameras cannot see those. So the whole philosophy is fraudulent and very profitable for any company. That ACPO ltd should associate itself with such a fraud on the public in a life and death matter of road safety undermines ACPO Ltd and all those in it who profess to care about lives and people. 'Too fast' and 'excessive speed' do not exist in law as they are states of dangerous driving. So there is only 'speeding' which cannot cause an accident or dangerous driving which does. Inventing and using non legal terms to muddy the water on such a life and death issue is criminal to my mind. But my main point is why is everyone in the Industry making money. Surely all this life saving should just be at cost?

  5. Let me put my case to scrutiny so you can understand the truth of the matter as presented. I was recorded allegedly doing 35 in a 30 area. The van was parked facing a bend and the Gatso took a picture of the car as it went around the corner.
    I didn't mount a defence against speeding as such. More against a device that hadn't been approved by the Home Office in the Schedule of Conditions to its Type Approval. This says specifically “for use tripod mounted in the attended actively operated mode as tested” This
    I had a letter to from the Home Office that said that the Gatso had not been tested or approved for use from within a vehicle. I tried for disclosure of the Gatso Manual but was denied this because the CPS lawyer told the court that it could not be disclosed under the copyright law. Anyone with half a brain knows copyright law makes provision for release of documentation in criminal cases. An abuse of process hearing was heard when the DJ agreed with me that the CPS lawyer had told lies (he was not telling the whole truth I think he said) but he said that since no-one else had ever got the Gatso manual I wasn't getting it either.

    I got it at after writing to the Information Commisoner and found that the setup of the device was to be facing a straight section of road but no mention of being used from within a vehicle since the manual was common to countries who do use it in this manner.

    4 days before trial I received an Expert Witness Statement from Trevor Hall. He concluded that only if the device had been used in accordance with the manufacturers manual, the Speedmeter Handbook and the ACPO code of Practice would he consider the results as being reliable.
    The manual showed it had to be used facing a straight section of road, the Speedmeter manual says it shouldnn't be used in confined spaces and the ACPO Code of Practice says for radar devices, “must not be used from within a vehicle”.
    Along with the favourable testimony from those documents, albeit unwittingly by Trevor Hall, and the Home Office answer to my FOI that says quite specifically that the device has not been tested or approved for use from within a vehicle I considered to be cast iron confirmation of the fact that the device had not been used in accordance with the Schedule of Conditions in that it had not been used “as tested”.

    Of course when TH took the stand (at considerable cost) he told exactly the opposite to his written statement and told the court that he considered there was nothing to suggest that the speed measurement would not be accurate and that using it from within a vehicle was OK by him. He conveniently waffled his way through the questioning on the ACPO recommendations saying that he was in the process of rewriting the Code of Practice and was going to take this clause out. GULP. Justice being made up on the fly to suit themselves.
    I was prevented from questioning him on his role as an expert witness. I wished to bring out the non impartiality and positive bias of the company he works for but was denied the opportunity.
    So, I was found guilty and fined £100, costs of £2347 and 3 points.
    I was going to appeal and tried to get legal aid as the appeal argument was going to be quite complex but was denied. I also had a letter from Andrew Perry telling me he was going to take the CPS case and was going to bring in TH again.
    Would you have continued on this basis a Litigant in person?
    I saw no point since the process was soured already by the Perry-Hall team.
    Would I go through such a trial again?
    Probably not but you just wait. I'm on Pepipoo all the time just waiting for a chance to assist someone else in the same set of circumstances and who would be willing to go all the way.