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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 December 2005, 14:48 GMT
Cameras snap speeding police cars
Mobile speed camera
The survey asked about speeding tickets issued to police force staff
More than 300 police officers in Wales have been snapped by speed cameras in the past year, it has emerged.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show officers in three forces, Gwent, Dyfed-Powys, and North Wales, triggered roadside cameras.

The majority of the speeding notices were exempted for operational reasons, such as responding to 999 calls.

Wales' largest force, South Wales, did not supply figures, saying the data was not "easily retrievable".

The Freedom of Information figures, requested by the Press Association, revealed speed cameras were triggered 45,741 times over the course of the year by officers and some civilian staff in the UK's police forces.

The survey found the vast majority of cases were exempted from prosecution because officers had been on an emergency 999 calls or on other operational duties.

Mobile speed camera
Most officers were exempted from prosecution for operational reasons

In Wales, Gwent Police exempted 98 of its 117 speeding on duty cases in 2003-04. In 12 cases the officers and civilian staff were fined or summonsed. Documents were missing in a further seven cases.

North Wales Police exempted 126 of the 129 fixed penalties issued to police officers who broke the speed limit while on duty in the year from October 2004. Three cases were still pending.

Dyfed-Powys Police said it did not keep a total of the number of its officers caught speeding, although 57 fixed penalties were issued to staff in the 12 months from October 2004, of which 32 were exempted.

Seventeen of the 57 fixed penalty notices were not disputed, according to the survey. The force said five cases were still pending and fines had been withdrawn in four cases.

'Health and safety paramount'

None of Wales' four forces were available to comment on Tuesday.

Richie Jones, chairman of the South Wales Police Federation, said the police staff association would stand by any officer served a summons as a result of responding to an emergency call.

He said: "It's quite often a requirement to break the speed limit and to contravene road traffic signals such as red lights, etc, but the officers are trained to a high standard.

"When having to sometimes go outside the law, it is always done with the health and safety of the public and the officer paramount. We would never condone reckless driving."




SEE ALSO:
Speed refunds after camera mix-up
21 Dec 05 |  South East Wales
Police expert disputes speed fine
02 Nov 05 |  North East Wales
Speed fines refund after blunder
25 May 05 |  North East Wales
Speed camera fines show 70% rise
25 Apr 05 |  North East Wales


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