Sunday, August 22, 2010

UK Police Officer : Speed Guns Are Inaccurate ...

Oh, boy, what a brilliant story. To quote:

A SENIOR NOTTINGHAMSHIRE policewoman has claimed a speed gun used to clock her speeding at 79mph in a 50mph limit was not accurate.

Superintendent Helen Chamberlain, 43, pleaded not guilty to a charge of speeding at 29mph above the posted limit when she appeared at Nottingham magistrates' court on Wednesday.

Chamberlian's solicitor, Ian Boddy, said much-publicised doubts over the accuracy of the type of speed gun used to clock his client would form the basis of the not guilty plea.
Full story here at : VisorDown.

PostScript Dec 2010

Superintendent Chamberlain, 43, pleaded guilty on the day her trial was due to start. She had originally denied the offence, arguing that the speed gun used by her Nottinghamshire force colleague was not accurate.

Sentencing her to six penalty points on her licence with £1,500 to pay in fines and costs, District Judge Tim Devas criticised her constabulary for resolving ‘serious offences’ through reprimands.

He told Nottingham magistrates: ‘The police have certain powers regarding criminal offences to make decisions regarding whether or not to prosecute, or issue a ­caution or reprimand. In the year I have been in Nottingham I have been extremely alarmed by the amount of cases where officers took it upon themselves to issue cautions or deal with cases in the way this officer did.’

He said it was a 'judicial matter to deal with people who have committed serious criminal offences' and a 'matter of discretion' for the police.'

And he added: ‘I hope (this case) will at least leave a message that will cascade down through all ­levels of the force that they do not make decisions like this. It was ­completely wrong and I hope they have been re-educated.’

The judge said he was sure the constable must have been under some pressure ‘with regard to who the defendant was’.  He said: ‘If it was 59mph in a 30mph zone, can you imagine in any of your wildest dreams that any of us would get off?'