THE number of drivers caught speeding in Scotland has soared by almost 40 per cent – well over the police’s target of a ten per cent increase.
A report by official watchdog HM Inspector of Constabulary revealed the figures and called for a return to officer “discretion” rather than a targets culture.
It said officers were under pressure to pursue the “soft target” of speeding motorists.
The report revealed a rise of 37 per cent in speeding offences in the last nine months of 2013 compared to the same period the previous year, from 47,825 to 65,424.
HMICS said: With any performance regime, there is a risk that managers, supervisors and frontline officers focus their activity solely to meet targets or reverse short-term drops in performances.”
Scottish Tory transport spokesman Alex Johnstone said: “It’s clear the targets culture for driving offences has taken priority and that can only come at the expense of the overall quality of policing.”
Police said no individual targets were set for officers, but activity was focused on areas of greatest risk.