Better roads policing needed to prevent increase in deaths says Inspectorate
The importance of how roads in England and Wales are policed has diminished, according to a report by HMICFRS.
The report entitled: Roads Policing: Not optional. An inspection of roads policing in England and Wales says that despite the high number of people killed on the roads in England and Wales each year, often force police and crime plans made little or no reference to roads policing. HMICFRS has made recommendations to encourage the police service to improve.
The inspection found there were some good initiatives, but too often the effect of these was unclear due to a lack of analysis and evaluation. It also found that when it was identified, good practice wasn’t shared across forces in an effective manner.
Also in the report were concerns that support provided to national road safety campaigns wasn’t consistent, which adversely affected their effectiveness and too often we found officers that hadn’t been given the appropriate training and support to allow them to carry out a critical role.
HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said: ‘Our inspection suggests that roads policing, despite the number of road deaths plateauing and likely to increase, is seen as less of a priority than it should be.’
‘We found that almost half of local crime plans didn’t include reference to roads policing. This, along with an unclear national strategy, is doing little to help reduce the number of deaths and life-changing accidents which occur on our roads.’
Mr Parr said that spending on roads policing has been cut by 34 per cent resulting in fewer officers dealing with offences that cause road deaths.
He said there was a clear, and pressing, need for government, police and crime commissioners, chief officers, and the College of Policing to recognise the importance of roads policing in reducing death on the roads.
‘In doing so, we are clear, roads policing is not optional,’ he said.