A controversial not-for-profit organisation set up to help prosecute motorists has insisted it meets its regulatory obligations – despite being publicly attacked by a criminal defence firm.
Road Safety Support (RSS) has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks after helping police to secure thousands of speeding fines over the last decade.
Media reports have questioned the legal and regulatory credentials of the firm.
One contention appears to be that work is being done as a government agent, with the obligations that come with it, but RSS insists it is a limited company.
One specialist RTA defence firm, Devon-based Patterson Law, has now openly questioned RSS Ltd’s independence and transparency and suggested it may be offering reserved legal services without authorisation or regulation.
In a 3,000-word blog on its website, Patterson Law said there were ‘very serious questions’ that need to be answered and said RSS must be more open when it is helping in the prosecution of motoring offences.
In response to the current speculation, RSS issued a statement on its website, saying it was not aware of any formal investigation into members of the organisation.
‘Everyone at Road Safety Support is fully committed to saving lives on the road and supporting the judicial processes. Nobody receives bonus payments or incentives to secure convictions. All our expert staff fully comply with the law and any regulatory requirements.
‘As increasingly so-called ‘legal loopholes’ have been shown to be non-existent, attacks on the judicial processes have been more common, with cameras being obstructed and road safety partnership staff being harassed.’
The SRA said it has been made aware of an issue involving RSS and is looking into this, but it could not make any further comment while inquiries are ongoing.
In its blog post, Patterson Law said it is ‘concerned’ that from inception RSS may have been selling reserved legal services to the police forces of England and Wales.
It added: ‘In theory there would have been no problem with RSS Ltd setting themselves up to provide expert guidance and advice to the police in how to use [speed detection] devices and preparing expert witness reports for the court… However, reserved legal services (court room advocacy and the conduct of litigation) can only be carried out by authorised individuals and regulated/authorised businesses.’
RSS was incorporated in 2007 and set up by a former chief constable and ex-road traffic officer.