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New speed camera watchdog reveals plan to more than double number of cameras on Victorian roads

first with neil mitchell

FIRST with Neil Mitchell

Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing, Stephen Leane, has confirmed he will leave the force after almost 40 years to take up a new role as Victoria’s speed camera watchdog.

Neil Mitchell first reported rumours that Mr Leane was set to make the move three weeks ago.

Today, the outgoing assistant commissioner confirmed it.

“I think I’ve had a fair run,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“I’m going out at the top of my game.”

Mr Leane has revealed plans to more than double number of speed cameras in Victoria, and roll out mobile phone cameras in his new role.

“Both point-to-point and … the mobile phone cameras I’m still pretty keen on,” he said.

“I think speed cameras do save lives, but I also firmly believe that we have to take community along with us on these endeavors.

“If we lose the confidence of community then there’s no point rolling out this 50 to 70 per cent increase in speed cameras over the next three years because people will just opt out or find ways they can avoid them.

“It just dampens road trauma overnight if you roll them out in the right way.”

Mr Leane and Minister for Police, Lisa Neville, both shot down criticism that there is a conflict of interest in Mr Leane taking on the role.

“I’m not alone as an ex-senior police officer who has moved on to higher level jobs within government,” Mr Leane said.

“Stephen’s not going to be looking at police operations, he’s going to be looking at our camera system,” Ms Neville said.

“Stephen has 40 years experience in Victoria Police, has seen first hand the impact of road trauma, and he knows the importance of the confidence the community have in the camera system, so I think he’s rightly placed to take us into the next period.”

But the opposition says it’s a bad look.

“Our concern is that it risks undermining the community’s confidence in the speed camera network,” Gordon Rich-Phillips said.

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