recently learned, South Yorkshire Police failed lamentably to deal with widespread sexual abuse of at least 1,400 children, their then Chief Constable Meredydd (90mph) Hughes certainly put a great deal of effort and public money into his speed camera crusade against motorists, including founding Road Safety Support Ltd in which he still plays a leading role, whose explicit purpose was to dissuade drivers from exercising their legal rights to defend themselves in court by threatening costs of £4,000 if they fought but lost.

Any democrat might well wonder why he was allowed to do any such thing, but more importantly, speed camera data recently made available as a result of the Government's insistence on transparency allows us to see what happened to fatal and serious road injuries in South Yorkshire from 1996 when the first cameras were installed: In successive years from 34 in 1995 the numbers killed or seriously injured (KSI) rose 43 to 45 to 62. They then fell successively to 45, 42, 42, 37, 28 but from 1996 to 2009 totalled 537, 48% higher than the 363 totalled had they followed national trends (on roads 97% of which have no speed cameras of course).

Those additional deaths and serious injuries, equivalent to one per month might seem a high price for road users to pay for the determination of this and many other police forces to continue using speed cameras despite results like this (including, it seems, their inability to understand the data) but even worse is the extent to which over the same 14 years KSI across South Yorkshire consistently failed to match that same national trend by large margins, resulting in 9,563 deaths and serious injuries instead of 8,096, an excess of 1,467, or 2 every week.

This abject nonsense must be stopped, now.

Idris Francis Petersfield Hampshire