'Ashamed' Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner who admitted speeding says she'll be issuing grants for speedwatches
An 'ashamed' police and crime commissioner who admitted five counts of speeding says she will be issuing grants for community speedwatches.
Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said she remains committed to catching speeding motorists despite being caught five times herself.
On Monday she appeared at her first formal public meeting since her court appearance.
The Police and Crime Panel at County Hall is set up to support and challenge Mrs Henry about the decisions she makes.
The chair of Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Panel, Christine Goldstraw, who served as a magistrate for 10 years, said she believed the only way Mrs Henry could leave office is by being voted out, unless she chose to stand down.
Councillors and independent members at the Police and Crime Panel meeting were advised not to challenge Mrs Henry until the court case had concluded.
However, Mrs Henry said she wanted to address the room.
She said: “I think it is only right to publicly acknowledge the court case in which I am involved as a private citizen.
“Given that some of the information is already in the public domain, unfortunately because this matter has not been formally concluded at court I cannot discuss it or take questions on the matter.
“I have to avoid any possible interference in the judicial outcome of the case, which will be concluded in approximately six weeks time.
“What I am able to do however is restate the apology.
“I am very ashamed, embarrassed and sorry and I remain passionate about fulfilling the responsibility expected of me as Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire.”
Later in the meeting, she was asked by county councillor Michael Edwards about her commitment to speeding.
He said: “We have been on it for years in Nottingham city and done some controversial things. The car driving public do not appreciate what we do but we have got the city down to a 20mph speed limit.
“Some of it is not instantly popular — but we know we have got to get speeding down and do more — including catching people and prosecuting people for speeding.”
Mrs Henry said: “There is about 100,000 people in Nottinghamshire each year that break the speed limit and out of those 40,000 are entitled to a speeding awareness course.
“As part of the next round of my community grants there will be an opportunity for people to bid in to do community speedwatch. I am absolutely committed to doing this.”
Mrs Henry appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on May 3 after committing five speeding offences from March to June 2021.
The 51-year-old, of Giltbrook, pleaded guilty to all five offences. The case will be heard and sentenced by a district judge in July.
The case led critics to call for her to resign from the £76,500-a-year job, and some also questioned whether she could be removed from office because she had pleaded guilty to a crime.
Labour’s Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood called for Mrs Henry's resignation in the House of Commons.
Mrs Henry has consistently said she will not comment further until the case is concluded in July.