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Roads Policing: Not optional - An inspection of roads policing in England and Wales

18 July 2020

The report published by HMICFRS highlights 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. The inspectors have made recommendations to encourage the police service to improve.

The inspection found:

  • some good initiatives, but too often the effect of these was unclear due to a lack of analysis and evaluation;
  • when it was identified, good practice wasn’t shared across forces in an effective manner;
  • 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.

“Spending on roads policing has been cut by 34% resulting in fewer officers dealing with offences that cause road deaths. However there is 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. We have made recommendations to help the police improve the effectiveness of roads policing in England and Wales. In doing so, we are clear, roads policing is not optional.”

The full report is available here.

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