Unmarked speed camera vans deployed by police
Northamptonshire Police has rolled out its first unmarked mobile enforcement vehicles primarily targeting excessive speed and mobile phone use
The first unmarked speed camera vans have been deployed across Northamptonshire in a bid to more effectively deter excessive speed and poor overall driving standards. Put into action by the Force’s Safer Road Team, the new scheme is limited to the county for now, but could spread throughout the country should it yield results.
Northamptonshire Police has observed a marked decline in driving standards over the last two years, with both deaths and serious injuries up year-on-year by a significant percentage. In order to tackle this, the new scheme is designed to target those who use the roads ‘illegally and irresponsibly’, with a goal to reduce instances of careless driving, excessive speed, mobile phone use, not wearing a seatbelt and driving while under the influence.
The first unmarked mobile units have already been spotted out on the road, completely free of markings and wrapped in plain grey. Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Operations Manager, Matt O’Connell said: ‘We know that people change their driving behaviour when they see a marked police vehicle… It’s easy to criticise this approach as being motivated by ticket numbers or revenue, however we see, all too often, the devastating consequences the loss of a loved one has on those left behind to pick up the pieces.’
Though the move may be perceived as a way to increase revenue, Northamptonshire Police is keen to stress that it doesn’t profit from fixed penalty notices or court fines, with this cash going to the Treasury’s consolidated fund. The county does receive a £45 cost recovery fee for the completion of each speed awareness course, but this money can only be spent on improving road safety.
Superintendent Jen Helm, Chair of Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance and Head of Operations at Northamptonshire Police, said: ‘...there are those who choose to deliberately drive or ride irresponsibly or illegally on our roads when they think they can get away with it. This is what the unmarked enforcement van is designed to tackle.’