Commissioner refuses to reveal police camera data

According to the Mail on Sunday police are being allowed to keep secret the number of motorists flashed by one of Scotland's most notorious speed cameras.

Money paid in fines by drivers caught by a partially hidden speed camera on the A9 will now remain confidential. The Sunday Mail reports that the Scottish Information Commissioner has taken two years to reject its request for the information.

The Sunday Mail asked for the information from Tayside Police when driver Melvin Bryden received three penalty points and a £60 fine for doing 72mph on the 60mph stretch. He claimed the Gatso camera, near the B867 junction, breaches Department of Transport guidelines because it is hidden behind a road sign.

Tayside Police was asked how many other drivers were caught by the camera and how much the police force was making from their 16 cameras. When Tayside Police refused to reveal the information, the Sunday Mail asked Scottish Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion to make chief constable John Vine reveal the information. But he accepted police claims that releasing the numbers could encourage drivers to believe some cameras are more likely to catch them than others - despite forces in England being told to provide similar information about their cameras.

The information watchdog came to the decision despite the fact that a similar Freedom of Information request was granted in England. It was revealed that a camera on the M5 near Bristol caught 2000 drivers, netting more than £1.2million in seven months. Paul Smith, Highland organiser of the Association of British Drivers, said: "It's all about hiding the truth about these cash cows. It makes us ask, what do they have to hide?"

Police camera silence: Anger over positioning of speed camera on A9 (Sunday Mail, 22 July 2007)