Examination of Witnesses (Questions 520-525)|
WEDNESDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2002
520. This is one of the controversial issues
because in one area of policing compared to another area of policing,
as has been pointed out earlier, we have different enforcement
and this does generate a problem with motorists in that it depends
on your postcode. One area could be more lenient than other areas.
Is that not taking the sensitivity too far?
(Mr Ainsworth) I think there was an acceptance by
ACPO that in the past there had not been consistency with regard
to policing in this area and that they had done a lot, or tried
to do a lot since the late 1990s to improve that situation and
they believe that they have achieved a lot in so doing. There
will always be issues and there will always be pressures which
will impact on particular police force areas, particular command
units, which will mean that from day to day they will have to
shift resources and they will have to shift their priorities.
Now, those are decisions to be taken within the flexibility that
we give the police force to respond to the issues that face them
521. On that point, and my final question to
you, Minister, is that ACPO or their representative, the Chief
Constable of North Wales, made it clear to this Committee that
the problem they have with this uniformity is because of the fact
that the Home Office do not include anything about speeding in
the policing plan, and you are saying that ACPO have made a representation
on this, they have published a website, they are pointing fingers
at the Home Office saying, "We need a further lead from the
Home Office on this very issue", and because of the fact
that it was not included in the policing plan, the core issues,
they are saying that the Home Office is not being progressive
on this issue of speed limits.
(Mr Ainsworth) I heard what they said and I can only
repeat what I said to you which is that I am surprised by it.
It is one of their overarching objectives. When we look to
522. You have been very kind, Minister, and
made that very clear. We do not want to get into too many arches
523. Really following on from that, do you know
what saving there would be in police call-out costs of the 40
per cent reduction in casualties?
(Mr Biddulph) We have some evidence, but I do not
have it with me.
Helen Jackson: Could you let us have it please
because clearly it is a huge impact on your budget and police
staff time if there were that 40 per cent reduction.
524. Why do you not introduce a national traffic
(Mr Ainsworth) I do not think that is an issue which
as been looked at lately at all. I am not at all sure whether
or not it would be practical to do that. I am not at all sure
whether you would get the effective interface between the local
police force areas as to what roads would be policed by the national
road police force and what roads would be policed by the local
police force area. You could well find that there are some splits
and divisions and it could be quite damaging.
525. Finally, Minister, can I ask you why there
is a different approach to processing the information from CCTV
cameras and from road safety cameras?
(Mr Ainsworth) I do not understand what that different
approach is, Madam Chairman.
Chairman: Well, we have been given evidence
from Nottingham that they want to employ new digital cameras and
they want that information processed in the police stations and
we have been told that you cannot accept that. Do you want to
go away and give us a note on that as well? Thank you very much
indeed, Minister. You have been very interesting.