Police go soft on London drivers

A 'softly-softly' approach to minor traffic offences must now be taken by police in London, according to an official memo.

A change in the law means that officers are no longer empowered to prosecute drivers seen ignoring one-way streets, no-entry signs and turning restrictions.

The memo says: "Where officers witness offences in circumstances that amount to minor errors of judgment, drivers may continue to be stopped and words of advice given, however, no formal warning may be given or reporting action taken."

But it warns that if the offence is caught on a council surveillance camera, a civil enforcement notice may still be issued.

One campaigner said it means that the police "are being told not to police", and warned that other cities are likely to follow suit.

And an "outraged" Captain Gatso, the anti-camera campaigner, has condemned the move as "purely about getting the cash in to the council's coffers".

Copyright © Press Association 2009