The Chief Constable of Derbyshire Police has said new laws which ban smoking in cars with children can “never be a priority” for his force.
Chief Mick Creedon has said today that Derbyshire Police do not have enough resources to tackle, what he described as, a public health issue.
From today (Thurs), drivers and passengers who smoke in a car with anyone under 18 could face a penalty fine of £50 – even if the windows are down or is sunroof open.
Many forces have said they will use their discretion to educate initially, rather than fine.
Mr Creedon said: “At a time when we are losing funding hand over fist and our resources have been cut by a third, this new legislation can never be a priority for us.
“The few traffic officers I have will be concentrating on the causes of serious and fatal collisions, such as drink-driving, while my other staff are tackling child sexual exploitation, cybercrime and attending the calls for service we receive on a daily basis.
“I don’t believe there has been a single prosecution brought by any force against someone smoking in a pub. That legislation has been self-policing and I think this will be to.”
Mr Creedon tolf Radio 5 Live this morning: “Mobiles, drink driving, speeding, no seatbelts – we know these contribute to fatalities on the road,”
“Smoking in a car doesn’t bring the same danger on the roads. It’s a public health issue.”