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Saturday, 24 September 2011
A copper's rebuke.
To an 'anonymous' Village Beat Officer's tweet about how he and his community had engaged in stops and warned or spoke to 76 drivers about speed, seat belts etc. I had tweeted my comments. Bear in mind that, with only 140 characters to make a point on Twitter, comments have to be to the point.
At least this PC did, in due course, long after I knew what he was referring to, complain about my comments on Twitter. Asking him to be specific this is the following exchange.
Your views that you tweeted as follows……
(1) “So while you 'reminded' 76 #drivers what they already knew, real crime was happening”
(2) Except '#speeding' causes no accidents, death from accidents in the home is higher & we prefer you did something else!
I would invite you to do the hardest part of my job (informing a loved one of a death) and then ask yourself to really consider what you tweeted. Policing involves the whole scope of unlawful activities not just the one’s that you see on an action packed TV series. Might also be worth considering the quantity of deaths on our roads Vs “death in the home”.
When I became a police officer I affirmed, and one of those tasks was to:-
·Preserve life and property (very applicable to my actions that I tweeted)
I welcome your views but maybe the context of them could be very sensitive to a section of people who have experienced life tragedies on our roads.
Take care, regards
I was a police officer for 32 years. See my profile.
Before I took out any prosecution I ensured for myself it was just and warranted. If there was something wrong about the set up, I saw it as my duty to question it. I was not just a factotum. I was the sheriff of my patch.
I invite you to read facts about 'why speeding happens' 'why coppers shouldn't trust speed limits' and other items under Road Safety, Speed Limits. Perhaps 'Coppers use Cameras but don't know why' on my site at www.youdrive.org.uk and then ask how much you know about the limit in which you use your camera? Then ask if you didn't know these things, why encourage non-police not to understand them too but point cameras at people instead? So what do you actually know about this particular speed limit? Who set it? What was his/ her driving qualification? Do they know more about driving than police? How many accidents were happening before it was set? How many members of the public, those who use the road, supported or asked for it? And so on. As a copper, about to apply the law, these should be considered.
My issue is that there are glaring causes of accidents that, for their own reasons, the DfT and police refuse to address or acknowledge. One is the cause of the worst type of crash there is, the over take head on. There are others,also self evident, that I have drawn to their attention too. So yes I have every reason to be annoyed about the selective activity in which you wish to raise the emotive scenario of the deceased victims as justification.
I have identified far too much profit from the pious & vested interest of the very profitable Road Safety Industry; money which could really save lives elsewhere, to fall for pious emotionalism in it. There should be no emotionalism employed when making or when applying any law.
It is bad enough when non-expert police officers engage in this type of activity, but to indulge the local and parochial inexperts of the community to satisfy their local aspirations and perceptions is not what coppering is about; that is what local parochial councillors do to secure a few hundred votes for themselves. You don't need such votes Robert.
I would suggest all police and Highways Officials read JJ Leeming's Road Accidents: prevent or punish? before employing their speed cameras.
So please do read through both my sites and see what more you can be doing to assist the driver and reduce road accidents as well as, at the same time, saving billions of pounds a year which could be better spent in saving far more lives in the NHS, the Emergency Services, A & E and so on.
There are other things you personally could do, as a local resident, to ensure speed limits are appropriate and justified properly and have your say in the setting of them. If you did that, I can assure you, you would be appalled at the paucity of the reasons given. Very often, no more than at the behest of some local parochial councillor who possibly doesn't even drive. Surely police officers shouldn't be pointing cameras on that basis should they?
Motor engineer by trade, served 32 years in London Police. Class 1 advance police driver & motorcyclist. A keen cyclist still cycling at 75. Have dealt with accidents. Have prosecuted them. Have compiled and provided accident stats. Abstract road accident reports to the legal profession. Three Commissioner's Commendations (One on the instigation of the Governor of the Bank of England) Royal Humane Society Award for resuscitation in life threatening circumstances and a member of MENSA. Had two businesses. Very involved in local affairs in London. Ran a London boxing club and rose to the National ABA Council and England team manager. Founder of a London Borough Sports Council. Very involved in charity fundraising. Moved to Lincolnshire 1994. Founded an indoor short mat bowling club in Sutton on Sea. Currently the East Midlands Coordinator of the Alliance of British Drivers and now the founder of Driver's Protest Union. www.driversunion.co