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Police: Driving Offences

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times police cars exceeding relevant speed limits have been detected by speed cameras in each police force area in each of the last five years; and how many and what proportion of such detections resulted in (a) a prosecution, (b) a caution, (c) no further action and (d) words of advice from a senior officer. (256536)

The information requested is not collected centrally.

The law on speeding offences applies to police officers as it does to the general public. The police can however claim exemption from speed limits in the circumstances set out in section 87, Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. This provides that speed limits do not apply to vehicles being used for an emergency service purpose if observing the limit on that specific occasion would hinder such use. In the event of dispute, it would be for the courts to decide if the exemption was properly claimed or a speeding offence committed.

Within the constraints of the legislation, the use of the speed limit exemption is an operational matter for the police. The police will take into account the need on each specific occasion to reach an emergency scene as quickly as possible and to preserve road safety. Police have been convicted or offered fixed penalties for speeding when on duty, but there is no evidence that they are routinely acting inappropriately.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have been (a) prosecuted for and (b) convicted of driving offences which occurred while the officer (i) was and (ii) was not on duty which led to incidents where civilians have died in each year since 1997. (257004)

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Data on prosecutions and convictions held by the Ministry of Justice do not include information on the individual circumstances of persons prosecuted or convicted. As a result the occupation of defendants cannot be separately identified.