MEP hits out at cameras as force hands over £3.2m

Home Forums Pure Petrolhead Speed cameras MEP hits out at cameras as force hands over £3.2m

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    THE Government collected £3.2m as a result of fines paid by motorists trapped by speed cameras in the North-East’s biggest police force area, a report has revealed.

    The Northumbria Safety Camera Partnership’s first annual report showed that more than £500,000 had been spent on cameras since the body formed in April 2003.

    Overall, the total number of accident casualties at the 42 fixed and 81 mobile camera sites in Northumbria and Tyne and Wear dropped from 423 to 412. However, across the area, despite the presence of speed cameras, the number of accident casualties still rose from 6,798 to 7,041.

    Last night, North-East MEP Martin Callanan, who has previously criticised the partnership’s apparent secretiveness, described the report as putting a public gloss on a fundraising campaign.

    He said: “They are still refusing to publish the detailed figures that people want, such as how much each individual camera is making.

    “If the Northumbria Safety Camera Partnership was abolished tomorrow, accident rates would not go up. The Chief Constable of Durham does not believe in speed cameras and yet their accident record is no worse than the accident record in Northumbria.”

    The report revealed the Department for Transport received £3.2m from magistrates’ courts in the area from speed camera fines.

    Project manager Ray King said the partnership had no obligation to produce an annual report.

    Northumbria Police Chief Constable Crispian Strachan said he backed speed cameras as an important part of a range of measures aimed at protecting the public.

    On Teesside, serious injury accidents are said to have halved since the introduction of speed cameras. There, £2m has been raised from speed camera fines in the past year.

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    Stuart XV16

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