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Leading road traffic lawyer Nick Freeman has slammed a chief constable for saying motorists should be punished for going just 1mph over the speed limit.

Whilst police forces nationwide are failing to investigate burglaries, shop thefts and assaults, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham has called for the current “tolerance” of ten per cent plus one mile to be scrapped.

Mr Bangham, the Chief Constable for West Mercia and roads policing lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, made the call at this week’s Police Federation roads policing conference.

Responding to his comments, Mr Freeman, aka Mr Loophole, said: “Mr Bangham is trying to criminalise hard working people struggling to get from A to B on the country’s congested roads network.

“He says he’s proud to be enforcing law and order, yet police officers now routinely fail to respond to reports of shop lifting, assaults or burglaries.

“In the last year his own force, West Mercia, has seen a 13 per cent rise in overall crime, with a 16 per cent rise in violent offences and a 23 per cent increase in recorded sexual offences.

“Perhaps he should concentrate on proper crime instead of going after the soft option, namely motorists.

“Speedometers can be inaccurate and so can speed cameras. That’s why the police introduced a tolerance level.

“Drivers are now becoming so obsessed with looking at their speedometers they are failing to concentrate on the road ahead, which is leading to accidents.

“However, for the police, motorists are an easy target and, as everything is now done robotically by camera, officers are rarely seen on the roads.”

Mr Freeman added: “What police forces should be concentrating their efforts on are those driving at grossly excessive speeds, those driving dangerously and those driving with drugs and alcohol in their bloodstream.

“Additionally, for those driving at excessive speeds, speed awareness courses should be part of a sentence and not an alternative, and could operate in much the same way as drink drive rehabilitation courses.”