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A Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) who pledged a road safety crackdown is facing calls to resign after she was handed a driving ban for speeding five times within a 12-week period.
Caroline Henry, PCC for Nottinghamshire, previously admitted the offences, including two committed on consecutive days, telling a district judge: “I’m really sorry.”
But Labour’s MP for Nottingham South, Lilian Greenwood, described her conduct as “outrageous”, adding: “The public deserve better – it’s untenable for her to continue in her role.”
It’s outrageous that Nottinghamshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner – who was elected promising to tackle speeding on our roads – broke the law five times in 12 weeks, including twice near a primary school. The public deserve better – it’s untenable for her to continue in her role https://t.co/Z3vfsrQ4CY
— Lilian Greenwood 💙 (@LilianGreenwood) July 18, 2022
Henry, who was elected to the post in May 2021, was caught speeding in a blue Mercedes and a silver Lexus with a personalised number plate in 30mph zones at four locations in Nottingham in March, May and June last year.
The 52-year-old was captured over the speed limit twice near a primary school in Daybrook, Nottingham, as well as roads in Chilwell, Beeston and on the city’s A610.
Speed cameras clocked the PCC’s speed as high as 40mph in a 30mph zone, with other excess speeds recorded at 35mph and 38mph.
Imposing a £2,450 fine as well as disqualifying her for six months at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Monday, District Judge Leo Pyle said of the offences: “What they show is that you are driving at consistent speeds above the speed limits.
“What I haven’t been told is why.
“Whether that was due to work or during your private time, you must allow time to get to your destination safely.”
The judge added: “Speed limit (cameras) are sited… not at places where they can issue maximum amounts in fines, but for safety reasons.”
The offences took place on March 17 and 18, May 2 and 27, and June 8.
The judge dismissed Henry’s application to keep her driving licence due to “exceptional hardship”.
Her defence solicitor, Rhys Rosser, urged the court not to ban her so she can visit her child in hospital in Salisbury, saying it “cannot be done by public transport”.
But District Judge Pyle said that, despite it being an “inconvenience”, Henry’s husband, Broxtowe MP Darren Henry, could “facilitate” it.
Taking to Twitter to react to the case, Ms Greenwood said: “It’s outrageous that Nottinghamshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner – who was elected promising to tackle speeding on our roads – broke the law five times in 12 weeks, including twice near a primary school.
“The public deserve better – it’s untenable for her to continue in her role.”
A statement on Nottingham Labour’s Twitter page also called for her resignation.
If she was truly sorry she would resign. This is just another empty apology, the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire deserve better. Caroline Henry has to resign now. https://t.co/mMbyfrIRUE
— Nottingham Labour (@ng_labour) July 18, 2022
It read: “If she was truly sorry she would resign.
“This is just another empty apology, the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire deserve better.
“Caroline Henry has to resign now.”
On her official PCC website, Henry, of Giltbrook, Nottinghamshire, listed ensuring an “effective and efficient” police response to speeding as one of her priorities.
She campaigned for election using the slogan “Make Notts Safe” and promised to “reduce crime with action, not words”.
Speaking outside court after the sentencing hearing, Henry said she remains committed to her role as PCC, but declined to comment on whether she would resign.
She told reporters: “I am truly sorry for speeding.
“Quite properly I’ve been fined and banned from driving for six months.
“I remain committed to serving the people of Nottinghamshire as Police and Crime Commissioner.”