Police don’t enforce 30mph speed limit in Islington, admits top cop

ISLINGTON’S top cop has admitted that police do not enforce the speed limit on the borough’s main roads.

Islington’s borough commander, Chief Superintendent Mike Wise, said speeding drivers were not a priority at a public debate hosted by Islington Council, which invited questions from residents on crime and safety.

He said: “To say we don’t take speeding seriously is unfair. But as a rule, the police in Islington do not enforce 30mph limits.”

A spokeswoman for Islington police said there are simply no resources to chase after reckless motorists.

But she added: “Should there be specific areas of concern in Islington, we would investigate ways of addressing this.”

Pedestrian campaigner Caroline Russell, chairwoman of Islington Living Streets, was surprised by the borough commander’s comments.

She said: “I can absolutely see they have a problem with resources but it’s a surprising attitude.

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“It’s certainly endangering lives. Islington has done well at bringing down the numbers killed and injured on roads each year but there’s a real risk that without investment, these figures will start to rise. It just doesn’t seem right that no action is taken.”

Main thoroughfares such as Holloway Road, Essex Road and Caledonian Road – many of which have fixed speed cameras – have a 30mph limit, while the borough’s residential roads have a 20mph limit.

Chief Superintendent Wise was speaking as part of a panel that included Labour councillors Catherine West, the council leader, and Barbara Sidnell, the executive member for community safety.

The debate, held at Islington Assembly House, in Upper Street, last Thursday, was chaired by Labour London Assembly member Jennette Arnold.

Islington police added that a central Metropolitan Police unit – the MPS Traffic Operational Command – was responsible for policing London’s roads.

Three people died in road accidents in Islington in 2009. There were 811 casualties in all, with 74 serious incidents.