A Letter From a Government Minister

Brandon Lewis, M.P., is the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service.

In response to a letter I wrote to my local M.P. on the subject of speed awareness courses, Brandon Lewis sent a reply which is given here: http://www.speed-awareness.org/Brandon-Lewis-Letter-2016-12-15.pdf

If you read it you can see where the Government is both misinformed on this subject and is turning a blind eye to the abuses perpetrated by the police. Specifically:

  1. It ignores the evidence that the ABD has collected on this matter.
  2. The letter seems unfortunately to contain a typical example of the “ends justifies the means” kind of argument on the basis that it might improve road safety. Apart from the dubious nature of that approach, there is no evidence that getting people to attend a speed awareness course has any impact on road casualty figures whatsoever.
  3. It also states that “road traffic law is an operational matter for the discretion of the police” which is an argument we have heard before from those benefiting from this legal abuse. Nobody disputes that the police have discretion to ignore minor offences – this is a long established legal principle. But they do not have the authority to accept payment in return for ignoring offences (undoubtedly a criminal act – namely perversion of justice) nor the right to establish a whole new justice system without authority from Parliament.
  4. The ABD has supplied clear evidence that the police are using this abuse of their power to raise revenue which is applied to whatever they desire. Effectively drivers are being blackmailed into paying up with the threat of prosecution. It is simply unprincipled. To suggest that this helps to relieve the pressure on the Courts and Justice System is neither here nor there. Such arrangements as now established do of course motivate the police to increase the number of “offenders” who are caught in this web of deceit.
  5. All we are asking for is a proper consideration of this matter, in terms of well established legal principles, some evidence that it has any benefit whatsoever, and that there are regulations established to control these arrangements (including provisions to ensure that the police cannot profit by this distortion of road safety policy and cannot use funds so obtained to finance more speed cameras and their associated operations).

We suggest supporters of this campaign write to Mr Lewis with your own comments on this issue!

Write to The Rt.Hon. Brandon Lewis, M.P., Minister of State for Policing, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF – it is preferable to do this by post as emails that mention “speed awareness” are blocked as spam by many ISPs.

Roger Lawson

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