Speed cameras could return to action, says crime chief David Jamieson
Speed cameras could be turned back on in the Black Country as the new police and crime commissioner today pledged to work on cutting down the number of people killed and injured on the roads.
Following his appointment last week, David Jamieson said switching the fixed devices back one was one of his top priorities - despite West Midlands Police facing almost £100million of cuts over the next four years.
The 67-year-old former Labour transport minister said the cameras were proven to reduce fatalities on the roads and promised a fresh look at how pay for the cameras.
But he admitted it was unlikely all cameras would be turned back on, promising only to turn on devices where there had been a casualty and the local community wanted them.
The pledge comes as a trial is being launched by the West Midlands Road Safety Partnership, which includes Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police, for 12 fixed speed cameras in Birmingham and Solihull.
Mr Jamieson said: "From 2001 to 2005 I was dealing with a road safety brief, we started to reel out cameras, with local people determining where they wanted to cameras to go.
"Unfortunately one of the first acts of the coalition Government was to stop that. The burden of costs fell with the police and councils and we ultimately saw the cameras switched off.
"Birmingham and Solihull have said we want cameras back and they are working with officers to see how we can fund those cameras and put them in areas where the local communities say they are needed.
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"I am hoping we can eventually find funding to put the cameras back in housing across the West Midlands, including the Black Country, where people need them."
Mr Jamieson said money raised by speeding motorists taking driver awareness courses could be spent on turning on some of the cameras.
He added: "The culture on the road has changed - people now see speeding as unacceptable, when perhaps in the past it wasn't looked on so badly, like drink driving.
"A lot of people are extremely responsible, but this is about making it difficult for those going too fast on our roads."
West Midlands Police announced fixed speed and traffic cameras would be turned off from last March. The force said it could not afford the £1m a year running costs due to budget cuts.
The police force faces £23million of cuts a year until 2018/19.
Mr Jamieson took over from Bob Jones as police and crime commissioner after Mr Jones passed away in his sleep aged 59 in July.
He was voted in at a by-election which had a 10.41 per cent turn-out.
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