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Saturday, 11 August, 2001, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Police admit speed cameras had no film
Speed camera
Officers say the cameras require a lot of upkeep
A police force has conceded there has been no film in any of its speed cameras for the past eight months.

Norfolk Police said this was because the officers responsible for the cameras were re-assigned to frontline duties such as policing rural areas.

However, a police spokesman said they were nevertheless keen to reduce the number of collisions and insisted the force was still employing measures to catch speeding cars.

Filming could resume if a partnership bid to launch a scheme which would allow civilians to be responsible for the cameras is successful, a police spokesman said.

There are seven permanent grey box roadside camera sites and six attached to traffic lights in the county - two of which belong to Norfolk Police.

A camera has to be fitted inside these devices, before they can capture speeding drivers.

Rural assignments

Bryan Edwards, public relations manager for the casualty reduction partnership, said: "Police officers were looking after the cameras which were quite labour intensive.

"They have been reassigned to frontline duties like rural policing."

Officers had to set the camera up, take it out to the various sites, and deal with other administrative duties.

Mr Edwards said that police officers were still using hand-held speed detection cameras in the area.

He said that it was important to focus on reducing the number of collisions.

Jonathan Simpson, from the RAC Foundation, said: "Speed cameras have a definite role outside schools and at accident blackspots.

"At the moment, the whole situation is turning into farce."

See also:

28 Jul 00 | Scotland
Cash diversion cuts speed
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