The refusal of our Government to work together with other EU nations on some matters of law enforcement means that until recently Sussex Police has been forced to write off up to £40,000 per year caused by foreign registered cars breaking laws such as running red lights and exceeding speed limits. In all of these cases the notification that these laws have been broken has been alerted to the police through the speed camera network. The reason for this loss of revenue is that these drivers cannot be traced unless the car is registered in this country. Although this situation will continue to be a challenge for forces such as Sussex and Kent and indeed in all parts of the UK where foreign registered vehicles are driven by people who break our laws, thankfully Sussex Police has arrived at a method for resolving this problem.
The solution which the Roads Policing team at Sussex Police has adopted is to feed the information regarding these vehicles into their own number plate recognition system so that a car which has been logged as having exceeded a speed limit or jumped a red light can be detected by one of the patrol cars which the force use to patrol our streets and road system. As this article suggests, some of these lawbreakers are persistent offenders and in these cases, possibly drivers who feel they do not need to worry about their driving behaviour and so potentially dangerous. The article does not tell us how much of the £40,000 of uncollected fines will be recovered but it is great news that the technology which does exist is being used to try to compensate for the lack of Political leadership needed to improve our relationship with neighbouring jurisdictions.
As the article goes on to explain, the loss to Brighton & Hove Council of foreign registered cars not paying parking fines is around £770,000. Unfortunately they cannot use the same techniques to recoup some of this lost income Let us hope the treaties needed for the apprehension of other offences are in place!