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Update 2017
Coverup, protection
Original articles
Name and shame

Dorset Speed facebook group was shut down!!
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Response from Pat Garrett:

Dear Mr Belchamber

Thank you for your e-mail. I have given this matter considerable thought and feel that it would be inappropriate for me to respond to you at this time. I have come to this conclusion for the following reasons:

1                     I have been in correspondence with Mrs Annette Brooke MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole on a range of issues of which the camera at Holes Bay is one. This correspondence is directly between Mrs A Brooke and me and as such I now feel that any further queries that Mrs Brooke may have should be resolved directly between Mrs Brooke and me and not through yourself as a third party.

2                     As the Head of Safety Education Enforcement Services for Dorset Police I’m aware via my FOI manager that you currently had and do have several FOI requests regarding the Holes Bay site. I also recognise that the questions you are now asking have been responded to or will in line with the FOI act. I have therefore decided that I will not either influence or possibly obstruct the FOI process and will allow my FOI manager to respond to your FOI queries in accordance with the FOI act

Finally I have received a large number of e-mails from you entitled greed on green. I would wish to remind you that the title of the Safety Camera installed at the Holes Bay site is in fact Speed on Green and is designed to measure those who exceed the stated speed limit at this site while the traffic signals are at green. I would therefore be grateful if in any future correspondence that you use the correct name.

Yours truly,

Pat Garrett

Head of SEES

Dorset Police

My reply:

Dear Mr Garrett,

Thanks for your reply. Annette Brooke clearly wants me to take part in this debate as she sent me your letter and confirmed by email that she was happy for me to respond to your points.

The DSCP must start to learn it cannot behave in this secretive way. If it believes it is right about this operation, it should have nothing to fear by being completely transparent, honest, open and willingly and directly answering important questions by concerned members of the community, or their spokesperson(s). The questions I asked are valid whether they are part of a discussion originated by Annette Brooke or not, and I don’t believe there’s any significant overlap with any of my open FOI questions. The questions would be easy to answer quickly and positively if what the DSCP is doing is actually good.

Instead, we have the maximum possible levels of secrecy, an attempt to keep even the original fine count exempt from FOI, and trickles of information being made available after considerable delay by FOI. You must understand that the DSCP does not give any impression other than it operates in it’s own interest and is not concerned in the slightest about the public it should be serving, or even if it needs to be doing the right thing. Add this to operations obviously designed to raise massive amounts of cash and the inevitable popular perceptions result, TO THE DETRIMENT OF ROAD SAFETY.

I may seem angry but this does come from the knowledge of the type of driving I know is being targeted, compared to the dismal and dangerous driving I see every day, which is not, such as:

-         the BMW I saw yesterday (when I was on my bike) going through the Upton ped crossing full throttle at what had to be more than 60 (a few hundred yards from the utterly pointless yellow boxes)

-         the Vauxhaul Zafira I saw on Sunday following another car at about 100 on the Upton bypass, with only a car’s length between them. I caught up with them when his speed dropped to 30 in the 50 section for some reason, it was a fairly normal looking family with small kids in child seats in the back. I think his wife was giving him an ear bashing but it should have been the POLICE (the proper ones).

-         people having to do the work you should be doing for them, such as the father who has had to put up his own sign after his children were nearly hit by a tyre-screeching car in a RESIDENTIAL 30 limit road.

-         Not to mention the video I took which I hope you’ve seen by now.

As I’ve said before, all of these things can even be targeted automatically if we stop putting all the effort we can into making it sound like current speed cameras are working and MOVE ON. Then we can have balanced enforcement and realistic limits, and respect from the majority of good drivers, properly reduced KSI figures AND reduced congestion, that’s how it should be. As I’ve also said, I am a computer vision designer and would even be happy to help. I was even offered a development camera site on the Wessex Way by Mike Holmes at one point, but it all went quiet with no reason given or communication. Might try another FOI request about this.

Finally, concerning the camera name, it is not a safety camera as the aim as you stated is not casualty reduction. You could possibly call it a “community concern” camera, whatever one of those is. But until there’s a proper resolution to this, and it needs to come quickly, I think “Greed on Green” is the most appropriate name and it seems the community agree with me.

Regards, Ian Belchamber