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Dunne on attack over covert speed cameras

Published: 6:02PM Friday April 26, 2013 Source: ONE News

A Government minister has broken ranks with colleagues to launch a scathing attack on police.

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has taken the unusual step of criticising police over their covert speed camera policy, which he says is a subterfuge aimed at making money.

The veteran MP is so angry about covert speed camera vans he has tried to use the Official Information Act to get police to tell him exactly which areas in Wellington and the Hutt Valley are using them.

But police refused to tell him saying it would prejudice the maintenance of the law.

"I think what all this subterfuge is about is police having a nice little earner," says Dunne.

Speed cameras snap almost 700,000 speeding drivers a year. Fines worth almost $50 million were issued last year.

Police didn't want to talk to ONE News on camera today, but in a statement said: "the aim of speed cameras is to get people to drive within the speed limit over the whole of their journey - not just in areas they think there may be police officers or speed cameras."

However Dunne says if police really wanted to stop speedsters they would publicise speed camera locations.

"Much better to send people big bold signals about slowing down rather than doing this cloak and dagger stuff," he said.

While it is highly unusual for Government ministers to criticise police on operational matters, Dunne said he is speaking for all motorists.

"I think being treated as almost criminals, as the police seem to imply, is a bit ridiculous, I'm sure burglars and other criminals are laughing all the way to the next crime."

But police say speeding kills New Zealanders ever year and covert cameras are here to stay.