Richard North, 26/08/2004  

Irish police (garda) are bitterly complaining that Ireland’s EU presidency – but also Bush's visit to Dublin – have led to a significant reduction in the number of speeding offenders being apprehended.

Unpublished garda figures show that the number of people caught speeding in the first half of this year was 21 percent lower than in the same period last year. Traffic officers were tied up providing escorts and security for EU officials and for Mr Bush and his entourage.

At last, we have detected a real benefit from membership of the EU. With the UK assuming the EU presidency on 1 July next year, perhaps we can look forward to reaping the same rewards – except of course that the magic effect is hardly likely to blank out cameras. Tough luck North Wales.

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