Investigation after claims police speed camera van was on the road without MOT


Police said the children are "beyond help"

POLICE are investigating claims a speed camera van did was used without an MOT certificate – meaning hundreds of motorists could escape conviction.

Northern Constabulary have been accused of “shocking hypocrisy” after a former officer claimed the vehicle was on the road illegally for six weeks.

Ian MacColl, who was formerly based at Fort William police station, claimed the Northern Safety Camera Partnership vans were being used as “money-making machines”.

The lorry driver, from nearby Inverlochy, said: “If I had been convicted recently in Lochaber I’d certainly be contesting my fine.

“There’s no way they should have been booking people with an out-of-date MOT.

“Sometimes the hypocrisy of my former colleagues is absolutely shocking.

“These speed vans are pure money-making machines.”



It is understood the certificate was renewed in Fort William last week by bemused garage staff.

A Fort William based lawyer, who frequently represents drivers facing speeding fines at the local sheriff court, said recent convictions could be overturned.

The lawyer, who did not wish to be named, said: “Every criminal case depends on credible and reliable evidence.

“In a speeding case where a camera van is involved, reliable evidence has to be given of not only the speed detected at the time but also the checks that have to be made before and after the camera device is used that day.

“If the camera operator, who is normally the driver of the vehicle, does not have a valid MOT, in any contested case his reliability to do the other checks would have to be called into question.”

Speed camera vans, operated in partnership with Northern Constabulary, are often seen at Glencoe, Letterfinlay and on the A82 leading to Fort William.

A police spokesman said: “Northern Constabulary is examining a question raised regarding the fleet documentation of a Northern Safety Camera Partnership vehicle.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further while this investigation is ongoing.”


  1. It is not at all unusual for traffic enforcement schemes for revenue to be operated in sloppy ways or with favoritism toward officials. It is a form of “Do as I say, not as I do.” It displays an arrogance by the authorities that no one should accept.

    IF the Northern Constabulary treats this issue with honor and respect for the law, they will look up every conviction associated with the illegal speed camera van and send refunds to the drivers convicted during the time the speed camera van was illegal with the necessary notice to legally reverse the conviction. The refunds should be accompanied by an apology and a note to retract the notice to the driver’s insurance company if that has been filed already, using the refund and the notice reversing the conviction as proof.

    Will this be treated honorably, or will keeping money win out? Time will tell.

    James C. Walker, Executive Director – (US) National Motorists Association Foundation (frequent visitor to Britain to see family in West Yorkshire)

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