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Volunteer speed police recruited

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 13 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 13 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

From the Times:

Hundreds of volunteers are being trained by police to trap drivers speeding on rural roads. The “village vigilante” scheme, which started as a local experiment in traffic policing, has quietly expanded across large swathes of the country.

I should be raging about this. I should be up in arms about the fact that the police are essentially sanctioning and aiding vigilante action. I should be pointing out that we pay police to keep law and order in this country, and they shouldn’t be out recruiting the public to do that job for them. But I can’t; it just seems like too much of a good idea.

Speeding is a huge problem in this country, and an area of widespread law-breaking. You’d think that this very fact would lead politicians to reconsider the law in the first place, but it hasn’t. That’s neither here nor there in this discussion, though, because a lot of speeding is senselessly dangerous. Therefore, to go back to a situation where people caught speeding are not issued with a fine, but instead with advice on why they shouldn’t be doing it, and thus increasing drivers’ education and understanding of the problem, can only be a very good thing. The fact that the police are asking volunteers to help out with this scheme so that they can concentrate on catching ‘real’ criminals should surely delight Daily Mail readers everywhere.

These volunteers have no police powers. They’re simply issuing advice to motorists. It’s no different to charities advising kids not to get into drugs because they can be seriously detrimental to health. So whilst I’m less than impressed with other ‘community policing’ measures such as CSOs, this doesn’t seem such a bad idea to me. So I’d broadly support the proposal.

This 657th post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

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The Nativity × Gaudí (published 17th February 2019)

Blair knocks Brown – it didn’t take long (published 11th May 2007)

Viral time… (published 29th May 2006)

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