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Top cop spooked by MCN petition

Published: 18 December 2008

Updated: 19 November 2014

Three-time speeder Meredydd Hughes has been spooked by an MCN petition calling for him to be axed as the Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) road policing head.

As the number of signatures rose to over 1,000, the South Yorkshire chief constable posted a message on this website urging readers to ‘make up your own minds’ before signing.

We launched our petition on Number 10’s website after it emerged Hughes’ department had proposed banning motorcycles to MPs.

It tells the Prime Minister Hughes should not have responsibility for road policing as he has previously been caught speeding three times and banned from driving.

In clear sign he’s rattled, Hughes registered on our site to speak directly to readers.

He tried to play down his road policing role by listing his other duties.

He claimed: ‘I am the ACPO (Police Chiefs) lead for the "Uniformed Operations Business Area". I represent policy makers for police firearms use, public order issues, emergency planning, operational support (dogs, horses, aircraft etc), in the ACPO Cabinet (which meets monthly) but I do not make policy, or run campaigns etc for road policing... I used to - but stepped down as I said last year.’ 

ACPO’s website lists Hughes’s full responsibilities as ‘operational issues, conflict management, emergency procedures, road policing’. The association has confirmed he is ‘head of business area for uniformed operations including road policing’.

His ‘stepping down’ appears to have been a smoke-and-mirrors exercise designed to save ACPO embarrassment after he was caught at 90mph in a 60mph zone last May.

He was given a 42-day driving ban for the offence. His role had been ‘head of road policing, business area’ – the same as now but with the words in a different order.

Hughes also tried to play down an ACPO proposal to ban motorcycles as an ‘off the cuff reply to a question’. In fact it was a policy recommendation to the commons transport committee which was deemed formal enough to publish in a report.

MCN posted a response challenging Hughes to explain why ACPO told the committee: 'Production machines are readily available for use on our roads with top speeds in excess of 200mph. Motorcycles are seen in the UK to be, in the majority of instances, vehicles of choice rather than necessity and one might consider if our congested roads are any longer fit for purpose for these motorised toys.’ Hughes has not replied. 

  • Read his comment here

Our petition states: ‘A three-time convicted speeder with responsibility for road policing at this level undermines any Government road safety message with regard to speeding. All possible pressure should therefore be placed on ACPO to relieve Mr Hughes of all road policing duties.’

Sign it here:

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