Speeding offence detection and disposal in England and Wales 2020 – 2021

Organisation: RAC Foundation

Date of Publication: February 2022

Uploaded to Knowledge Centre: 22 February 2022

This report found that more than one in six speeding offences detected by police forces in England and Wales ends up being cancelled.

During 2020-21, a total of 2,426,950 cases of speeding were recorded by constabularies in the two countries and later reported to the Home Office. However, 404,335 (17%) of these were later cancelled.

In 2019-20, there were 330,623 cancellations, 13% of the 2,584,571 speeding offences detected in that year.

The reasons why offences go on to be cancelled is not recorded but could include:

  • Faulty or incorrectly calibrated speed cameras
  • Cloned vehicles carrying a false number plate
  • Emergency vehicles lawfully breaking the speed limit whilst driving with blue lights
  • A delay in issuing notices of intended prosecution
  • A lack of resources to bring cases to court

The RAC Foundation says these problems could have been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic.

The highest proportions of speeding cases that ended up being cancelled were seen in Greater Manchester and Warwickshire, both at 39%. Wiltshire had the lowest proportion of speeding offences cancelled at just 2%. 

Access the report via the RAC Foundation website: