Fixed penalty fines for seat belts (and probably number plates) which will cover cost of 10,000 Tasers for UK Police
Fixed penalty fines to double for not wearing seat belts in UK and will raise £7 Mn.
It is evident that fixed penalty fines are increasingly seen as a source of much needed revenue - and indeed are fast growing tax - mostly in evidence for parking and motoring offences. AS the fine revenue goes into the Home Office pot it is seen as a source of funds for new POlice expenditure.
Ray Massey in today's Daily Mail has a story, "Fines for motorists who fail to wear seatbelts to double" which confirms a Daily Telegraph story in September that Ministers were "consulting" raising the fixed penalty for non-compliance with seatbelt rules from £30 to £60. See also here.
To justify this surveys are quoted that show 94 % of drivers and 93 % of front-seat passengers wear seat belts, but only 70% of adult back-seat passengers belt up. Also, of the 942 drivers and 490 passengers killed in 2007 a third were not wearing seat belts.
The offence is not endorsable - the offender may well be a passenger. Approximately 235,000 fixed penalty notices were issued in 2006, (@ £30 = £7 Mn. so doubling it could raise a further £7 Mn.) and about 4,000 cases went to court where an offence can attract a fine up to £500.
A similiar "review" is underway to double the fixed penalty fine for the misrepresentation of vehicle registration marks from £30 to £60 in an attempt to crack down on illegal number plate offences - which includes Car number plate spacing , size, font - must be the Charles Wright font and the fixings. Here for more examples .
Jacqui Smith reveals £8Mn. for equipping all 43 UK Police forces with Taser stun guns
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) have welcomed the decision to equip all 43 UK Police forces with 10,000 Taser stun guns and to train 30,000 front line police response officers across the country with the new 50,000-volt electric guns at a cost almost eqivalent to the income expected from doubling the fine for fixed penalty tickets for seat belt offences.
This follows a trial in ten forces started in September 2007 : Avon and Somerset, Devon and
Cornwall, Gwent, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, MPS, Northamptonshire, Northumbria, North Wales and West Yorkshire. This was monitored by both monitored by the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) and ACPO Firearms.
new toys for the boys were a welcome boost for Taser International Inc., the world’s biggest stun-gun maker, whose shares jumped 32 % in U.S. trading on the announcement of U.K. funding for a record purchase of 10,000 weapons. This, their biggest order ever is somewhere in the neighborhood of US$12 million . (Bloomberg)
US based SNK Outlet sells the The Advanced Taser M-18L .." a powerhouse of stopping power" retail, online at US$540 each - it is legal for cizens to own them in most states apparently...."a quantum leap in stopping power ". Taser warns that its device can cause burns that can become infected. It also says people who are shocked by the weapons can suffer bone fractures, dislocations, ruptures and hernias - Police have sued their employers in the US when they were injured by being "tasered" in training.
Whilst being deployed in the UK on more than 600 occasions in the past year, they were only fired 93 times, ministers said. Apparently the laser RED DOT acts to reduce agression and removes the need to fire the electrodes attached to 15 feet of wire.
The very ever so slightly not Independent Police Complaints Commission in a report published simultaneously found 35 complaints had been made against police using Tasers since they were first introduced in September 2004.
Of the 15 most serious investigated by the IPCC, the majority were about Tasers used in "drive-stun" mode, (also called Taser Touch Torture mode ) where Officers remove the prong cartridge and discharge the weapon directly against a person's body to subdue combative arrestees with a searing jolt of pain. See here
More at Truth not Tasers blog