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Call for Staffordshire police tsar Matthew Ellis to resign over twitter scheme

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: January 02, 2014

By Gail Atkinson

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THE COUNTRY'S leading traffic lawyer has called for Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner to resign claiming he has potentially prejudiced scores of drink driving cases.

Nick Freeman, known as Mr Loophole for his work with celebrities, said Matthew Ellis should step down from his £75,000 a year post - but Mr Ellis told the Newsletter he will not.

Responding to criticism that his force had committed trial via social media by naming and shaming those charged with alcohol or drug-related motoring offences on Twitter, Mr Ellis said: "No-one will be named where there is any doubt."

Mr Freeman, who has successfully defended and had acquitted in excess of 1,000 motorists charged with drink driving, said: "Mr Ellis should carefully consider his position as he has again shown a scant understanding of the legal process.

"By his comments he is now presuming that everyone named by his officers are guilty as charged even before they have appeared before a court. In other words he is demonstrating a cavalier disregard for the presumption of innocence.

"His comments have potentially prejudiced every drink driving case before it is heard."

Mr Ellis said: "The proactive approach Staffordshire Police are taking is to raise the issue of drink-driving - and the tragedy it can cause - by naming people after formal charge. If just one person is saved because more people are thinking hard before drinking and getting behind the wheel of a car, that's got to be a benefit.

"Policing isn't only about enforcement, it's also about stopping things from happening before they do, and this campaign is aimed at doing exactly that.

"Legal loopholes are no solace for families who have lost dear ones through drink-drivers."

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