Police officer facing investigation after group of prom goers were detained and fined £100 each for not wearing seatbelts while travelling at 5mph

Lincolnshire Police
Lincolnshire Police
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A 'mean' female traffic cop who pulled over a convoy of prom night schoolkids and fined four of them £100 each for not wearing seatbelts is facing investigation.

The un-named 'furious and intimidating' officer halted the slow-moving convoy by pulling in front of it in a marked police car with its blue lights flashing and siren blaring.

She confronted the dad of one pupil about some of the 16-year-old kids not wearing seatbelts before ordering them to get into her patrol car.

According to one dad, she then gave them an hour long lecture on wearing seat belts before issuing them with £100 on-the-spot fines.

The incident happened in Holbeach, Lincs, at around 5.00pm when dozens of pupils were celebrating the end of their GCSE exams.

Today the father of one of the kids who was driving students in the convoy condemned the officer for treating the pupils 'like criminals.'

Mark von Haartman, 63, was the owner an orange Mercedes '65 convertible and Porsche 911 being used.

He said: "We set off in convoy along High Street, Holbeach, at about 5mph, joined by all sorts of special vehicles, with the children all dressed very smartly."

"We stopped off at the traffic lights on High Street before turning right into Park Road when we heard a siren and this police car overtook us before violently to the left, cutting off our path to the school.

"My daughter and her friend were both very, very upset immediately after they were questioned because a whole crowd of people were gathered round to watch what was happening.

"The officer came up to me and said 'Have you ever been to an accident where the passenger was not wearing a seatbelt?,'

"I explained that the girls were only 16, that we were only going at 5mph, I was responsible for them wearing seat belts.'

The female police officer locked some of the children in her car and refused to let Mark listen in.

He added: " She then locked my daughter and her friends in her car and questioned them for about an hour before tearing off with her sirens on.

"I kept asking her to let me hear what was being said to my daughter but she was not having any of it.

"I had to listen through a small gap in the window."

Two other officers arrived at the scene but were unable to help because the first officer witnessed the event and it was her responsibility to issue any tickets.

He added; "Both of the officers who arrived later were very friendly and one of them went over to speak to the first officer who was questioning the kids but they could not help.

"I just do not believe that the police acted proportionately and what I worry about is the effect that my daughters first direct and frightening encounter with a police officer will affect her perception of the police for years to come.

The teenagers were forced to pay the fines which could rise to £500 each if it is taken to court.

The police have defended their officers actions but confirmed that an investigation has been launched and she could face disciplinary action.

Inspector Gareth Boxall, neighbourhood policing inspector for South Holland, said: "Along with drink/drug driving, mobile phone use and excess speed, not wearing a seatbelt is one of our 'fatal four" motoring offences.

"These are the four things that have been shown to contribute most to collisions where people are killed or seriously injured and it is clear that our officers were primarily concerned for the safety of those in the vehicles.

"However, the incident is being investigated by the Professional Standards Department and if there are things that we could have done better, we are committed to learning from our experiences.

"I cannot offer further comment while this matter is under investigation."

The incident happened on Friday, June 29 and involved pupils from University Academy, Holbeach.