Huge drop in speeding convictions in Essex to be investigated by officers
- Credit: PA
Police officials in Essex are trying to find out what lies behind a dramatic fall in the number of speeding offences dealt with by magistrates’ courts in the county in 2012.
The number of people fined for speeding rose significantly last year according to statistics from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) – but overall the trend over the last few years has seen fewer speeding offences committed.
The figures from the MoJ were released following a parliamentary question by outgoing Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley.
This showed that in England and Wales the number of speeding offences handled by courts between 2009 and 2013 had fallen – although it had risen slightly from a low figure in 2011.
When broken down to individual police areas, however, the figures were less clear.
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In Essex the number fell from 4,000 in 2009 to just over 3,000 in 2013. However while there had been a steady decline in 2010 and 2011, in 2012 the number fell dramatically to just 1,700 before rising last year.
A spokeswoman for Essex police said there was no obvious reason for the dramatic drop in numbers in 2012, but officers and police statisticians would be looking at the figures to try to identify possible factors.
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In Suffolk the number of people fined by courts for speeding fell from just under 3,500 in 2009 to just over 2,100 in 2013.
The figures do not include motorists who received fixed penalty notices or who accepted places on speed awareness training courses as an alternative to a fine and penalty points on their licence.
It does include those who have refused to accept these punishments or who were driving so much faster than the speed limit that a fixed penalty was inappropriate.
A Government spokesman said: “Speeding can have devastating consequences and it’s right that drivers should abide by the speed limit.
“These fines were issued at the discretion of the magistrates and show the number of fines issued is in decline across many police force areas.”