ABD Challenges Speed Camera Revenue Generation
Thames Valley Police are collecting over £1 million per annum by diversion of Speed Awareness Course Fees to finance speed camera operations
Based on a recent FOI Act request by an ABD member, we know that Thames Valley Police are receiving over £1M a year from fees paid by AA Drivetech.
The Government stopped funding Safety Camera Partnerships. They are now dependent on local authorities to provide their funding out of road safety budgets. Offenders allegedly involved in speed-related offences are being offered "Speed Awareness Courses". Some Police forces have now arranged for some of the revenue from fees for "Speed Awareness Courses" (many of which are run by commercial organisations) to be diverted to finance the operations of camera partnerships.
For example, Thames Valley Police (led by Rob Povey, head of roads policing) have arranged to receive money from the payments made for such courses, thus enabling it to reactivate cameras in that county and maintain the operations of the "safety camera partnership". This has been widely reported in the press and Mr Povey even made it clear in a video posted on YouTube by Thames Valley Police.
We question whether this is legal (we have seen no evidence that it is), and we certainly suggest this is ethically dubious. In essence, in return for payments that at least part-fund the operations of speed camera partnerships, alleged offenders are diverted from the justice system.
Note that the ABD has no objection to the offer of speed awareness courses to lesser offenders, but we believe that it should not be associated with payments to the police.
Funding of police speed camera operations in this manner will result in more attention to generating income than to the promotion of road safety.
We urge everyone who has been offered such a course in the Thames Valley area (or anywhere else this arrangement is in operation) to complain to their Member of Parliament about this system.