Brent Council to police traffic offences
BRENT Council plans to borrow more than �1 million to take over responsibility for policing moving traffic offences – despite savage cuts hitting nearly every department, writes Kate Ferguson. Currently, police are responsible for enforcing traffic movin
BRENT Council plans to borrow more than �1 million to take over responsibility for policing moving traffic offences - despite savage cuts hitting nearly every department, writes Kate Ferguson.
Currently, police are responsible for enforcing traffic moving offences, which include going the wrong way up a one-way street, banned turns and driving through a red light.
If the proposal, which will be voted on at a full council meeting next month, is approved, Brent Council will govern this process from next January.
The role requires large scale investment in policing equipment and training costs, and Brent Council would spend �1.1m on the scheme, despite a drive to axe a minimum of �53m by 2014.
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This money will be spent on ten fixed cameras at designated sites across Brent, eight mobile cameras, will be taking over this role from January next year.
Some residents have voiced concerns that the scheme will be a 'money spinner' for the council.
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Caroline Paton, from Rosedene block, Christchurch Avenue, Brondesbury Park, said: "Presumably if they are borrowing money they are going to be out to recuperate this money through fines. I don't want this to be another money spinner for the council."
Cllr Moher, lead member for Highways and Transportation, said the decision to take over this portfolio was made by the previous Lib Dem Conservative council under recommendations by the Greater London Authority (GLA), but that they were supporting it.
Cllr Moher said: "We have looked at it carefully and we think if we implement it properly it can counter anti social motoring offences, and we would be a better than the police.
"There will be a start up cost, but the investment will pay for itself within 18 months, and all profits will be reinvested in highways. In that sense this money is going to improve services for the community."
He added that if the plans go ahead, they will be reassessed after six months.
A council spokeswoman said: "Taking on responsibility for traffic offences is a measure of the council's commitment to maintaining road safety and minimising congestion.