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Volunteer speed police recruited


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. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

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

  • My views might very well have changed in the 13 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; 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.

More posts worth reading

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Appeal (published 4th November 2003)

Luv and war at 30,000 feet (published 14th December 2012)

Photo-a-day 39: Odometer excitement (published 8th February 2012)

Photo-a-day 13: Thorpes (published 13th January 2012)

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