Friday, 6 February 2009

Traffic Stops


I have talked about traffic stops, and my experience with traffic Policing on occasions before. However, I am confused by THIS news story.




Yes, it says that the Met will no longer be enforcing minor traffic laws - but that doesn't confuse me.

I haven't given a ticket for a minor traffic offence since my street duties days in the first ten weeks of my probation, and I can honestly say I've never given a ticket for no seatbelt or similar in my career.

I do regularly process people for No Insurance, No Driving licence, or other similar serious offences.

Partly this is because of time constraints, we simply don't have time to search out traffic offences. It's also due to the alienation of the public idea.

However, according to the news story at least, it states that we "no longer have legal power to enforce certain moving traffic offences involving non compliance with signs."

No Entry signs non enforceable by Police?
I personally think that No Entry signs are not a minor issue, in some places they are safety critical - hence why they are endorseable (points on the licence).
Surely publicising this simply means that people can do what they want in front of Police cars, safe in the knowledge the most they'll get is a bollocking?

Incidentally, I didn't get this "memo" at work about not having this power. Nothing's come through my emails, or my Borough briefings.

17 comments:

Hugh said...

You don't expect triffling things like facts to get in the way of a story :)

Hogday said...

A plod after my own heart ATNS. I never wrote more than the 2 or 3 tickets I had to do in order to prove that I could do them and so get that box ticked on my training sheet. Thereafter, not a ticket in 30 years. My logic being that if I thought the violation I saw was risking public safety (for that read MY or my loved ones safety) then the git can go to court. Anything less then they just have me to deal with. Saved a whole lot of time and most people actually ended up saying `thank you`.

Blue Eyes said...

Area, that article doesn't make sense. First of all it says that the power has been removed which sounds like "law". Then it talks about guidelines. Does the BBC mean "policy"?. Then the spokesperson quotes the recently into force legislation, so we are back to "law".

If I were you I would wait until you get the email or the briefing before changing what you do!!

Or is this yet another case where instead of allowing officers discretion, there is a over-riding policy which will rarely suit any actual event?

Blue Eyes said...

ps I remember reading somewhere that police officers would no longer be able to issue parking tickets but as far as I know this is complete nonsense as well.

MattW said...

I don't think you can take away the power of a police officer to enforce a law. You can issue guidelines that they shouldn't do it because somebody else will be taking care of it (like local parking enforcement being done by council employees), but to actually remove that from your powers would surely require an Act of Parliament - and a controversial one at that.

I think (well, I really really hope) that the press have the wrong end of the stick here. It was on the front page of today's Metro and I really felt they had to have got it wrong.

Lola Snow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lola Snow said...

Probably just needs to be written a bit clearer:

A Met spokesman said: "Following a performance meeting and a bun fight about detections the bigwigs with massive epilettes decided that pissing about with traffic offences really isn't doing anything to improve detection rates.

Therefore they decided to encourage officers to take five minutes talking to naughty drivers about nondetectable traffic offences, rather than spend time issuing tickets which cost money to produce and time to process.

Instead a quick telling off will surfice and and let the council rake in the cash. Unless the driver has done something really bad in which case an offence of dangerous driving should be considered, which funnily enough when witnessed by a police officer can be detected under the Home Office counting rules."

If that's out of date then I apologise, i never get emails either......

Lola x

Chapati said...

Haha fancy work not telling you about important new information that affects your job!

Constable Confused.com said...

What a load of hoop!

I don't know about stuff down south but up here we have been advised that parking offences were no longer our jurisdiction but there is always unnecessary obstruction to consider. This legislation was several years ago.

More spin to try and stop the police being seen to upset the general public. As has been stated in a post by PCSO the attitude test applies greatly with traffic offences. If you are apologetic and accept words of advise (ie admit you were wrong), the chances are that the matter will end.

Argue and I will see you in court. That is my attitude and despite that I normally get an apology from decent motorists. I can't be bothered wth most traffic offences unless someone is blatantly extracting the urine with a fully marked police car in clear view.

My traffic tickets are probably so out of date that the fine is wrong!

No insurance or unlicensed driver then you literally go and procreate with yourself I will hound you, oh and take your car off you as well. Porsche Cayenne was my best one from can you believe it, a solicitor with a provisional driving license. Strangely he didn't contest it.

Metcountymounty said...

Got me a Bentley not so long ago for no ins, I was giggling like a kid when that thing went off to the traffic pound. I'm with you with the minor stuff I've only reported one person for speeding since getting out of my probation (calculated on cctv after doing 3 reds and nearly wiping out a woman and baby) otherwise it's drink drive, no ins, otherwise in accordance and the occasional dangerous/careless driving following an rtc. All the rest is just a way to get my nose into the car - and if the driver is a complete cock then a traffic unit is but a call away and love to tear the cars apart. Also never got that memo so I'll be sure to delete without reading if it ever hits anyway.

Anonymous said...

It was on Notices this week.

Not that I do any either...

TonyF said...

Is that why the standards of driving are getting so poor? It seems to me that very few people know when or how to indicate, the correct use of side lights/fog lights. Many one eyed monsters, defective brake/tail lights, and those are just the obvious things.

Sad to say, a lot of Police drivers seem not to know the correct use of lights. Surely, they are supposed to set a good example. Some time ago, I was pulled over to be told I was...Er, 'progressing' As this tosser had failed to indicate at 3 junctions whilst he was behind me, (Too close) and attempted to stop me on the apex of a blind bend in a village where HUGE tankers take up the whole road to get around said bend often clipping both kerbs at the same time. I went 30 yards further into a pub car park. Then the lackwit said that his 'blue lights' would have 'protected' us from errant truckies. I pointed out to him that the only thing a tanker driver would have seen was my van as it and the pub are actually opaque to any form of visible radiation.

petoskystone said...

this is actually in reply to 7 feb. post, but i can't access the comments section. why such a minor fine for a serious action (assaulting an officer)? if a person will assault an officer, i would think they would be much more likely to attack a civilian. shouldn't a fine reflect this? or is this assumption american & not applicable to the u.k.?

mcmrjp said...

It seems the papers and others have gotten it wrong again (no surprise there). The legislation merely gave the local authority Civilian Enforcement Officers the power to deal with these offences (apart from being able to stop vehicles). The police powers are still there if they so chose to use them. Pity the Met Bosses aren't able to read legislation.

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