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UK: Speed Camera Partnership Issues Cheating Brochure
Greater Manchester, UK police issue brochure labeling anyone who attempts to defend against a speed camera ticket a cheater.

Operation Cheetah BookletThe Greater Manchester, UK Police have caused a stir by issuing a booklet entitled "a book of tricks for those who want to get off speeding" to every motorist who receives a speed camera ticket. The brochure is designed to discourage those accused by speed cameras from defending themselves in court.

"Thinking of finding a clever way to avoid the £60 fixed penalty and having points put on your license?" the brochure asks. "Think again! We know every trick in the book -- and if you try any of them you could find yourself facing a criminal record, with either a hefty fine or long spell in prison."

Dubbed "Operation Cheetah," the Greater Manchester Police effort encourages motorists to just pay up when they receive a penalty notice in the mail.

"You could ruin your life, the life of someone dear to you and your career -- just to save yourself £60 and three points," the brochure continues. "It's just not worth it."

Road safety advocates including Safe Speed and the Association of British Drivers call the brochure libelous as it specifically labels groups opposed to speed camera enforcement as "trick dealers."

"This appalling booklet goes far too far and deliberately seeks to intimidate drivers who may have a legitimate defense," said Safe Speed founder Paul Smith.

"This is one of the worst examples yet of heavy-handed police tactics against drivers," said ABD chairman Brian Gregory.

"I am appalled that Greater Manchester police should try to mislead the public by suggesting that all the matters mentioned in the booklet amount to fraud," said legal expert John Josephs. "Some of them, if genuine, amount to a perfectly proper defense in law and for the police to describe someone who puts forward such a defense as a 'Cheater' is grossly unfair and is clearly an attempt to frighten people against using their rights."

The booklet is available at the source link below in an 819k PDF file.

Source: A Book of Tricks (Greater Manchester Police, 2/17/2006)

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