With four UK police forces reported not to have any whatsoever in use
According to a number of Freedom of Information requests by The Press Association, nearly half of all speed cameras in the UK are immobile and four police forces don’t have any whatsoever in use.
Of all the speed cameras installed up and down the country, almost 50% of them are switched off. In total, there’s 2,838 speed cameras on roads in the UK, however only 1,486 at the moment are in use.
The requests were gathered from the 45 police forces in the UK and four of them were found not to have any working cameras at all – Cleveland, Durham, Northamptonshire and North Yorkshire.
Northampton police said they left camera housings in place to prevent drivers from speeding, using them as a deterrent.
In Staffordshire, only 14 of the county’s 272 speed cameras are actually active, whilst in Derbyshire, motorists have less than a one in 10 chance of driving past a working camera, as 10 of their 112 speed cameras were changed to active after the police responded to the requests.
According to the Press Association’s findings, only one third of speed cameras in Scotland are active, whilst drivers commuting to Greater Manchester will discover that only 24% of cameras are actually switched on.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Metropolitan and City of London Police said that all their cameras were switched on, so too did forces from Northern Ireland, Nottingham and Suffolk, whilst nine forces failed to respond to the requests.
Drivers shouldn’t take this information and assume that things stay the same, as police chief’s claim they rotate active cameras, so one day a camera that isn’t switched on might be changed to active the next day ready to catch any unsuspecting speeders.
The data gathered by the requests doesn’t cover the use of radar guns and mobile camera vans used to catch offenders.
A spokesman for the National Police Chief’s Council, who responded to the findings, said which cameras were switched on was “an operational matter” and that “all forces have individual responsibility for their use of speed cameras.”
Whist Jason Wakeford from the road safety charity Brake believes that all cameras should be switched on as they have been proven to be a cost-effective way of reducing road accidents, Claire Armstrong from Safe Speed believes the investigation “proves police forces don’t believe in cameras”.
“Forces are conning the public into thinking cameras are there for road safety because, if they really thought that, every single one of them would be on,” she added.
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