Top cop on driving charges

PUBLISHED: 08:58 14 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:01 03 March 2010

NORFOLK chief constable Ken Williams has quit his prestige job as Britain's

top traffic cop after being told he is to appear in court on a careless

driving charge.

NORFOLK chief constable Ken Williams has quit his prestige job as Britain's

top traffic cop after being told he is to appear in court on a careless

driving charge.

Mr Williams, 57, broke several bones in his foot when his green Honda Legend car was in a head on collision with another car.

He has now resigned as chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers'

traffic committee after being told he is to be accused of driving without

due care and attention.

Mr Williams is now facing the embarrassment of getting a summons to appear

before magistrates in Thetford, Norfolk.

The accident happened in the early hours of September 30 when he and his

wife Jean were on their way home to Norwich after a foreign holiday.

Their car was in collision with a green Renault Laguna travelling in the

opposite direction on a single carriageway section of the A11 at Snetterton

near Thetford.

Mr Williams was taken by ambulance to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and was allowed home the same day after his foot was treated.

He was given a breath test which is normal police procedure for anyone

involved in a road accident, but it proved negative.

A 26-year-old man from Thetford who was driving the Laguna escaped with

minor whiplash injuries and was not taken to hospital.

Both cars were seriously damaged in the crash which happened in an area well

known for road accidents.

Father-of-two Mr Williams spent several days recovering at home with his

foot in plaster while being nursed by his wife who was not hurt in the


The accident was investigated by his own traffic officers who submitted a

report to the Cambridgeshire Crown Prosecution Service which is independent

of Norfolk.

The chief crown prosecutor for the Cambridge area then recommended that he

be taken to court.

A Norfolk police spokesman said the accident was investigated in the same

way as any other crash.

The spokesman was unable to say if Mr Williams intended to plead guilty or

deny the charge.

The force added in a statement: "The full report into the incident was

submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice.

"Following correspondence from the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Cambridge area, a decision was taken by Norfolk's temporary deputy chief constable John Bligh, to lay information for a summons to be issued against Mr Williams for 'driving without due care and attention'."

Mr Bligh added: "In due course, the case will be brought before the Thetford

magistrates court for hearing. This matter is sub judice and it would

therefore be inappropriate to comment before the judicial process is


Mr Williams became Norfolk chief constable in 1993, the year after he was

awarded the Queen's police medal.

He caused controversy in August when he called for speed cameras to be

painted bright colours and not hidden to make them visible to motorists.

But speed cameras in his own county of Norfolk were painted dark blue in

October, prompting motorists to complain they were less visible than the

old grey colour.

It later emerged that Norfolk police wanted them painted a bright colour,

but were over-ruled by county council officials who demanded they be a dark

colour so they did not look an eyesore.

Mr William's suggestion that all cameras should be bright colours has now

been taken up as Government policy.

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