Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Monday, 31 March 2008 12:48 UK

Police use anti-speeding horsebox

The horsebox used by North Wales Police on Sunday
The horsebox being used by speed police in north Wales

Officers in north Wales are using a horsebox parked by the side of the road to hide a speed camera.

The horsebox with two officers inside was parked near Llanrwst in the Conwy Valley on Sunday.

The force, renowned for its campaign against speeding would not comment on its use but said enforcement activity would increase as the days lengthen.

The Department of Transport said it recommended speed cameras were made "highly visible" to motorists.

Sunday's deployment saw the horsebox parked on a straight stretch of the A470 at Maenan near Llanrwst.

The road has a 60mph limit but is renowned for speeding.

The chief constable of North Wales Police, Richard Brunstrom has previously admitted an "obsession" with tackling speeding motorists.

Last year Arrive Alive speed cameras in north Wales caught 55,704 offenders.

Another 5,610 were caught by officers with hand-held laser devices.

North Wales Police has been asked to respond.


Here are a selection of your views.

Interesting to hear that North Wales Police are using horse boxes as disguise for speed cameras ! - Can we expect at some time in the future Policeman will be dressed as trees and jump out in front of us ?
Mike Dunk, Pontypridd

I cannot see what the problem is. If people didn't deliberately speed there wouldn't be a need for covert speed traps. I would rather all speed traps were hidden, as the high visibility ones encourage localised compliance as opposed to global compliance - People speed between cameras and then crawl past the cameras, which is extremely dangerous in its own right.

Whilst some oppose the road policing policy in this country, some forget that by speeding they are risking not only their own but other people's lives - a decision that should not be theirs to make!
Simon, Newport

Excellent idea. Why should the speed cameras be in full view. This only deters habitual speeders for a few second. Maybe now all drivers will think of their speed and keep to the speed limit.
Paula Gilmore, bridgend Wales

Wasn't there legislation that said all speed cameras had to be clearly visible and marked? Hence them being painted yellow? How is this any different from painting speed cameras in camouflage and hiding them in trees? Ridiculous, in a time where crime in North Wales is higher than ever, our police force is out playing with horse boxes. Get on the beat and catch some real criminals!
AN Other, Llandudno

Isn't the idea to prevent people speeding? Not to catch them after they've done it.
Richard L, Newtown, Powys

Speed cameras in my native country Germany are almost always "hidden" by the roadside, usually in unmarked vehicles or trailers but there were cases where they were even placed in wheely bins etc. For a motorist it is quite simple: Follow the rules and it doesn't matter at all in what disguise a speed camera comes along. It should not be forgotten that the speeding is the problem, not the cameras.
Chris Jerzembek, Bridgend, Wales

How on earth is a covert speed camera supposed to deter drivers from speeding? Surely it is better to use overt police cars or cameras, people see them, they slow down. So now instead of slowing the driver down at the time, he or she carries on speeding for another two weeks until they receive a fine. In those two weeks they could have caused a crash. Yet another cynical, sneaky and underhand way of taxing the already overburdened motorist. Simply a revenue generator!
David Parkinson, Swansea, Wales

I think it is appalling that the Police think that they can use such sneaky methods, its simply not fair in my opinion. I'm sure there are better ways than this to cut down vehicle crime.
Danny, North Wales

What did they do with the horses?! Oh no ... I forgot - they spent a six figure number on stables!

Does this mean open season for cowboy jokes and "where there's muck there's a policeman" comments?!
TimF, Wrexham

I thought Cameras had to be visible, but maybe I'm wrong what next mobile cameras strapped to Dogs out for their walks!!!!! Just another proof that big brother is indeed watching.
Stephanie Cottrell, north Wales

cant they catch more criminals instead of just finding AN EASY WAY TO GENERATE MORE CASH FROM ONCE AGAIN THE MOTORIST how sad
al, Flintshire Chester

This is a disgrace. It will have a negative impact on safety as drivers will be nervous and watching out for horse boxes and looking at their speedometer too often rather than at the road ahead. Also it was placed on a long straight where people safely exceed the speed limit marginally to complete overtakes of slower vehicles quicker so they can return to the safety of the left side of the road.
Robat Williams, Gwynedd, Wales

I don't know why motorist think that its unfair if the police don't advertise speed traps with huge signs etc. Its really simple. Speeding is a criminal offence. Criminals should get caught and prosecuted. How ludicrous would it be to let shoplifters get away with theft if the cameras weren't bright orange and had to have signs all over them saying "no theft". Good on you N.wales police.
Simon Jones, Holywell

For sure a lazy way of doing a poor job - 10 out of 10 for building up relationships. Get back on the road and police properly or have those skills already been lost? Most people readily accept speeding if caught face to face rather than a envelope dropping on the doormat 2 weeks later.
Nick, Cardiff

Totally agree with Simon from Newport
Steve, Newport

Is the objective to catch people who are going too fast or to reduce speeding? If you genuinely want to get people to slow down, making any cameras highly visible is far more effective.

But of course, if people are obeying the law you cannot fine them!
Megan, Cheshire UK

This brings to mind an old rugby song called " Through the hole in the Elephants bottom " ! I wonder were the coppers are going to stick their cameras next............I got a suggestion !
Meirion Williams, Denmark

I got caught doing 35 about a hundred yards before the 30 limit changed to an unrestricted zone in Ruthin, nothing surprises me about NW police methods - they should be targeting uninsured drivers and the 'bad' drivers who pull in and out, drive too close, fail to indicate - speeding is NOT the only dangerous driving practice, but it is undoubtedly the easiest to make money out of....
K Jones, Denbigh

I actually know that stretch of road quite well & a previous comment is correct, it's a good stretch of road to allow people to overtake slower moving vehicles SAFELY. To be really safe overtaking said slower vehicles it is sometimes SAFER to slightly exceed the speed limit rather than remain on the "wrong" side of the road longer. I'd rather see the police taking action against dangerous drivers rather than just speed. Speed in itself is not always dangerous!
Peter, Liverpool

How many of the people that say it's a good idea are drivers? It's just another way to generate money, shouldn't the whole point be to make people aware of their speed, not to let them do it to make money? If you look at the number of people caught speeding and times that by the price of the fine, that's an awful lot of money for the officers ball at Christmas!!
Sarah, Wrexham

Well, it just goes to further prove that Traffic Police are a different species to the helpful Police elsewhere. What crackpot plod dreamed up this idea!

There is no way that this sort of enforcement will endear them to the public. Not a deterrant, just a way of earning more cash for their coffers.
Horselover, Llanrwst

Hidden speed traps don't stop people speeding. Its just another " stealth tax ". police should be used to catch real criminals. Japanese police found out years ago that a cardboard cut out police man put by the side of the road was more effective !
Meirion, Denmark

The over - zealous approach of North Wales Police would be more acceptable if the outdated points / licence system was overhauled.

The current system of 12 points was in force long before it was possible to get snapped 4 times on one journey and therefore lose your licence in one day.

I recently travelled on a North Wales road and kept at 30mph thanks to my cruise control. Why then was it acceptable for the Police car behind me to get impatient and overtake me, breaking the speed limit in the process? No blue lights, no emergency. Just another example of NWP getting its priorities wrong!

Oh and there was that report which showed through hard statistics that the presence of speeding cameras does not cut the number of accidents - good revenue raiser for the Government, though!!!
Richard Griffiths, Prestatyn, North Wales

My vehicle was broken into a couple of years ago. While no personnel was on duty at our local station at the time, I was informed that an Officer would visit me at home to make a statement. Although I have reminded the Police several times no visit has been arranged and no statement has been made. Looks like North Wales Police are too busy sitting in trailers than responding to crime. Easy money !!
Mr Still Waiting,

Big Brother is watching hey ! Getting ridiculous now hidden speed traps. And Hidden Traffic wardens. We are watched everywhere Now
A N JONES, Abergele

I thought all speed cameras and vans had to have high visibility signs on them so as to assure the public they are not just money making schemes.
marcus, wales

Excellent idea!! If you didn't speed then you wouldn't have to worry about being caught!! I'm sure if drivers had a few fines and points they'd start to think about the speed they drive!!
Chris Tovey, Llandovery

The speed limit is there for a reason and drivers who ignore it should pay the penalty. police have to use covert tactics to be effective, and it seems in North Wales that they are effective. My experience is that drivers in North Wales are more careful with speed limits than other places I drive.
Dave Wilson, Denbigh, Denbighshire




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