From IC North London Online:

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Concerns at police speeding figures

Dec 26 2005

The police forces whose officers most frequently break the speed limit on duty are revealed in a Press Association investigation.

The league table shows startling differences in the rate at which speeding offences are committed by different forces each year.

Officers from Essex police - considered the home county of the "boy racer" - topped the table with 5,269 in just six months - a rate of 3.26 per officer per year.

Second highest was Bedfordshire with 2,519 in a year, or a rate of 2.04 for each officer.

In all, forces admitted officers had triggered speed cameras a staggering 45,741 times.

In the vast majority of cases, officers were exempted from fixed penalty fines and prosecution because they were speeding on a 999 call or on other operational duties.

Only 934, or 2% of the total, were given a 60 penalty ticket, taken to court or still had cases pending.

The RAC Foundation said the results showed some forces police were over-using the exemption powers and suggested some police officers believed they had "carte blanche" to break the speed limit regardless of whether they were on a 999 call.

The huge variations in the number of incidents raises questions about whether forces across the UK are dealing with speeding police drivers consistently.

The survey data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, showed huge variations in the number of speeding cases in neighbouring forces, and in how senior officers decided to deal with them.