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September 6, 2010


Clacton-on-Sea, England – The fickle finger of financial fate points and then moves on.

But not before it, the finger, highlights some of the antics that the UK Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) gets up to. For ACPO has a commercial arm. The Chief Police Officers are also business persons making a nice few quid out of companies like Road Safety Support (RSS). RSS supplies expert witnesses and advice to help prosecute riders and drivers caught for motoring offences like speeding. RSS is of course a non-profit organisation but that doesn’t stop the retired and serving police offices who work for it getting an earner out of the consultancy fees they get for court appearances etc. Don’t get me wrong this is all legal and above-board but has been highlighted in the past few days by RSS getting itself embroiled in a legal row over the use of police evidence photographs.

As reported in the UK press RSS, in a drive to drum up business, has allegedly been making presentations containing pictures of celebrities doing naughty things in cars. Like England footballer Jermain Defoe driving while talking on a mobile phone and comedian Jimmy Carr speeding in his Bentley GT at 10mph over the limit. RSS seems to have conveniently forgotten that using these pictures may well breach the Data Protection Act, the Public Records Act and not comply with the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) evidence Retention Policy. Bit of a red face there then for RSS head South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes. Who coincidentally thought up the South Yorkshire Police ‘zero tolerance’ motorcycle policy.

There’s an issue here that needs airing. The police are civil servants we, the tax payers, pay for everything, the wages, the pension, the boots, the training, the lot. Yet it seems ok for ACPO to set up commercial operations which pay retired police officers and police officers on their rest days and holidays to turn up in court as expert witnesses. Their expertise stemming from the training we paid for in the first place. We seem to be paying for everything and the police officers seem to be doing very nicely than you.

Can’t really put my finger on it but something’s not quite right there.

© Back Roads Rider 2010

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